Title: Four Christmases
Year of Release: 2008
Available On: HBO Go, December 2018
Rating: 4 out of 5 Jingle Bells
This movie was both better and worse than I was expecting. On principle, I dislike the message that people who don’t want children or marriage will change their minds when faced with the beautiful, complex, and sometimes painful realities of family. Because Christmas cheer will make a mother out of your empty womb yet! If this movie had just been about learning to enjoy your family for who and what they are, your family learning to do the same for you, and reconnecting with your partner(s), I’d have been all in. But they don’t write movies for queerdos like me and my loved ones.
Anyway. Another dichotomy of Four Christmases is that I love Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, though I don’t know him personally, reminds me of every douchebag asshole I knew in high school. I don’t really like them together, either. They have weird chemistry. They’re both good actors, however, or at least far better than most of the folks in the movies I review here, and the production of this movie is also good. Supporting cast is solid. Like really solid: Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Robert Duvall, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, Tim McGraw, Dwight Yoakam, and Kristin Chenoweth. (Fuck Jon Voight though. He can fuck right off.) The plot reflects some of the realities of modern day families with divorce and remarriage, and does so without the assumption that everyone’s lives would be better if the nuclear families had remained intact.
It’s over the top in all the right ways and I laughed quite a bit. Four jingle bells!