182: Four Christmases

Four Christmases (PG-13) - 2008 - Runtime: 88 minutes
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon
Director: Seth Gordon

What bugs me about Christmas movies is that if you don't catch it in theaters, you're going to have to wait almost a full year for it to come out on DVD. Such is the case with Four Christmases - something I wasn't eager to spend money on with a ticket, but I was looking forward to renting it. Well, let's just say I'm glad I waited, because this won't really be remembered too fondly as a great Christmas movie after a few years.

Four Christmases is about Brad and Kate, a couple who have no desire to have kids, get married or do anything but just be a couple. And they're having fun - until they get landlocked in San Francisco during Christmas and are forced to visit all of their parents (who are both divorced). They don't get along with their families, which explains their noncommittal relationship. And throughout the movie they deal with the families they've ignored, each realizing they may want to start their own.

It's a fairly straightforward movie - you know where this is headed and what these two characters are going to do. It's too bad most of the hi-jinks they find themselves getting into are only somewhat funny and sometimes mildly annoying. There's really nothing bad about the movie, it's just that there's nothing really great, either. You're just kind of waiting for something spectacularly bad or funny to happen and it doesn't. And don't for a second buy into this idea that it's a Christmas movie. It really isn't - the Christmas theme is just an excuse for them to visit their parents (and to sell tickets, really).

Vince Vaughn is his usual self in this movie and that isn't a bad thing, but I just didn't feel any connection whatsoever to Brad and Kate. They just seemed somewhat detached from the real world - like they're floating around San Francisco in a daze, begrudgingly visiting families whom, by the end of the movie, don't seem like a family at all. It's too bad, because these types of broken family movies can be done really well (see The Family Stone) and in this one, everyone's just phoning it in.

So if you're looking for a Christmas movie, just rent one of the classics and skip this one. It's ninety minutes that you'll end up regretting.

Rating: Not Worth Paying For

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