Four Christ­mases Movie Review: Solid, but not Spectacular

Syn­op­sis: A happy cou­ple gets roped into vis­it­ing each of their 4 fam­i­lies for Christ­mas and dis­cover things about them­selves and each other that could change their relationship.

To be hon­est, I expected bet­ter from a movie head­lined by Vince Vaughn and Reece With­er­spoon. The movie had a few funny scenes here and there but it wasn’t an overly funny movie. The plot itself was not too bad. We have a happy cou­ple, Brad and Kate, who aren’t mar­ried nor do they plan to be because they feel it would ruin their hap­pi­ness. They don’t wish to have kids either because they wouldn’t want to dis­ap­point them. These atti­tudes all stem from the fact that their par­ents are divorced. Every year, they avoid their fam­i­lies for Christ­mas by telling them they’re doing some­thing human­i­tar­ian so they can’t visit. How­ever, their “human­i­tar­ian” trips are really just…vacations. How­ever, this time they are caught when, after their flight to Fiji gets can­celled due to a fog, they are inter­viewed by the news about it (cue phones ring­ing off the hook from fam­ily mem­bers with ques­tions about why they lied). So, they now have to visit all four fam­i­lies in one day.

In the process of the vis­its, they find out things about each other that they never knew before about each other’s past, which prompts the ques­tion, first from Kate, then her sis­ter: shouldn’t they know more about each other after three years of dat­ing? It then becomes quite evi­dent that they don’t when they try to play a game at Brad’s mother’s house and Kate realises that he really doesn’t know her at all.

Kate takes a preg­nancy test at her mother’s and later tells Brad she wants kids which leads him to rein­force his belief about not hav­ing them. Kate says she doesn’t want him to come in to her dad’s because she doesn’t want to pre­tend any­more. She gets that she’s chang­ing the rules and under­stands if he doesn’t want to change them with her, but she’s still vis­i­bly dis­ap­pointed when he dri­ves away and leaves her. Brad dri­ves back to visit his father and it is when he realises he’s in dan­ger of becom­ing too much like him, is when he begins to feel regret over his deci­sion, lead­ing him back to Kate. After the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, it is shown one year later that they have a child.

This movie was mar­keted as a Christ­mas movie but I can’t say that it was a Christ­mas movie in a true sense as we know them to be. Yes, Christ­mas was the main dri­ving force behind the vis­its (I mean what other log­i­cal rea­son would they have for hav­ing to visit all four of their par­ents on the same day other than maybe Thanks­giv­ing) but this plot would have prob­a­bly had the same effect had it been done at any other sea­son. Ulti­mately, this movie was less about the joy and spirit of the hol­i­days as most Christ­mas movies are, but about illus­trat­ing the fact that some­times we need our fam­i­lies more than we think. By avoid­ing them for so many years, Brad and Kate also avoided shar­ing some key details about their lives which only came to the fore after the visit. Addi­tion­ally, the vis­its also helped her to finally be truth­ful that their arrange­ment wasn’t what she wanted any­more, and she wanted more. What I did like was that there wasn’t any great blow up between the two because she under­stood his stance but she just didn’t want to live that way any­more. Also, I thought that Brad’s real­i­sa­tion, that he didn’t want to become like his father (alone and a tad cyn­i­cal) helped him to see that a life with Kate, mar­ried and with chil­dren was what he truly wanted.

The fam­i­lies them­selves were inter­est­ing. Brad’s father, broth­ers and nephews were a line of Nean­derthals (his words, not mine), Kate’s mother’s home was “cougar Ville”, Brad’s mom was dat­ing his pre­vi­ous best friend (raise eye­brows) and Kate’s dad was a bit more nor­mal, pro­vid­ing some san­ity and key words when Kate needed them the most.

The movie really should have been fun­nier (maybe it’s just me, because it’s a hard sell to make me laugh dur­ing movies) given its billing as a comedy/​drama/​romance (see imdb​.com) but it did have some scenes that made me burst out laughing:

  • Kate and Brad get inter­viewed by the news anchor about how they feel about their vaca­tion flight being can­celled and then their phones start ring­ing (their facial expres­sions are priceless).scene from four christmases
  • Kate attempts to use the breast pump in the bathroom…with her shirt on.
  • Brad’s impro­vi­sa­tion of Joseph in the Christ­mas play at Kate’s mother’s church.
  • The final scene: It is revealed that they don’t want their fam­i­lies to know they had a daugh­ter (in fact they didn’t even know Kate was preg­nant). But because their daugh­ter is the first new-​born in the new year, they get inter­viewed on live TV (again), a throw­back to how their Christ­mas plans got ruined the pre­vi­ous year (again facial expres­sions, priceless).

To con­clude, Four Christ­mases isn’t a movie I would rec­om­mend to any­one look­ing for a really good Christ­mas flick to watch…it is more of a use­ful time passer. Movie Rat­ing 610

© Photo 2 taken from Freecodes​ource​.com
© Photo 3 taken from Get​sur​rey​.co​.uk
© Arti­cle of caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

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