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:
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 6⁄10
© Photo 2 taken from Freecodesource.com
© Photo 3 taken from Getsurrey.co.uk
© Article of caribbeandreamsmagazine.com