Saturday, November 29, 2008
Movie Reviews: FOUR CHRISTMASES
When upscale, happily unmarried San Francisco couple Kate and Brad find themselves socked in by fog on Christmas morning, their exotic vacation plans morph into the family-centric holiday they had, until now, gleefully avoided. Out of obligation—and unable to escape—they trudge to not one, not two, but four relative-choked festivities, increasingly mortified to find childhood fears raised, adolescent wounds reopened…and their very future together uncertain. As Brad counts the hours to when he can get away from their parents, step-parents, siblings and an assortment of nieces and nephews, Kate is starting to hear the ticking of a different kind of clock. And by the end of the day, she is beginning to wonder if their crazy families' choices are not so crazy after all
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, Mary Steenburgen
Director: Seth Gordon
Opened November 26, 2008
Runtime: 1 hr. 22 min.
Rated PG-13 for some sexual humor and language
Genres: Comedy, Holiday Film
Four Christmases is the type of movie that makes you question the talent's agents. The talent assembled outside of the stars is impressive with the likes of Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen and Jon Voight taking on supporting roles here. Stars Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon should make this film a home run. It's not; it's a failed bunt attempt with zero humor or enjoyment. Clocking in at under an hour and half this film feels so much longer than it actually is. First time director Seth Gordon brings nothing out of his cast, most are sleep walking through their lines. Gordon's direction is so routine and lacking in terms of style that it'd be difficult to not improve on his second film. Vince Vaughn seems the most energetic of the cast, doing his tried but true routine of speaking endlessly and in circles doing the best he can with the atrocious script. Witherspoon looks thoroughly uncomfortable and out of sync throughout. The stellar supporting cast is wasted on tired clichés of extreme types of dysfunctional wackiness. This movie is filled with talented actors who are capable of doing some wonderful comedic work but the script, written by a quartet of writers, is so stale and lifeless it makes you wonder how they got any of them to sign on to this project in the first place. This film is filled with endless bickering and stale conceits that are supposed to be funny but fall flat. A horribly unfunny scene in a bounce house midway through the film had me wishing I'd stayed home. Dysfunctional holiday movies are nothing new and there are much better films out there, some that are actually funny.