Directed by Seth Gordon.
Written by Matt Allen, Caleb Wilson, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.
Starring Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Jon Favreau and Robert
Release Year: 2008
Review Date: 12/1/08
Don't take it from me, and don't take it
from all of the cash this movie piled in over the Turkey Day holiday
weekend, just see it for yourself. I'd like to get your
opinion on "Four Christmases", because for the 50-or-so people in my
theater on Saturday afternoon, this movie was near-complete dogshit
thanks to 80% of its laughs being included in its trailer and
another film role for Vince Vaughn that nearly saps everything great
about him from his hits.
Vaughn plays Brad, a lawyer in San Francisco
who has been dating his now-live-in girlfriend Kate (Reese
Witherspoon) for the last three years, and both of these lovebirds
hate their families. Maybe "hate" is too strong a word, but it
hasn't stopped them from skipping Christmas with their families the
last couple of years, instead heading out of the country for exotic
vacations...but, this year, all of the flights out of SFO are
grounded by bad weather, and when a local news crew tries to interview the pair as
they are decked out in beach gear at the ticket counter, their
families figure out that the pair is grounded. So, Brad and
Kate visit all four of their families (both sets of parents are
divorced), and we get to meet a wild cast of peeps as Kate and Brad
suffer not only through their families, but what they don't know
about each other.
Yep, it's got "dramedy" written all over it.
There are a few chuckles in "Four Christmases" that I didn't see
coming, thanks mainly to Vaughn's now-classic run-on line delivery,
and I did love the Nativity sequence at the church of Kate's mother
(Mary Steenburgen) featuring Vaughn as Joseph. But mostly,
"Four Christmases" left our theater quiet for long stretches, funny
scenes written for laughs that delivered none, and lots of
gratuitous breast shots of Kristin Chenoweth, who plays Kate's
sister and is a whopping 4'11" tall. (In pictures, it was
weird seeing her standing next to Witherspoon, who is much taller
than Chenoweth. Not good.)
The worst offense is that this film tries to
go drama on us for its last 20 minutes (after introducing the idea
that this child-hating couple might want to have kids after all) and
I was having none of it. Yikes, this movie was not good, but
so many people went to see it! This country is already in the
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard