Four Christmases' Breeding Propaganda


If Christmas is about tradition, then director Seth Gordon's (The King of Kong) first non-documentary feature, Four Christmases, is certainly seasonally appropriate. The romantic comedy genre is an unexpected new direction for Gordon, and with the reasonably likeable Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn in tow, how poorly could things really go? Well, the Writers Guild could go on strike, for starters, as it did during the making of this film—a circumstance that at least partially explains why the script, while performed aptly enough by a talented cast, is so damn lazy.

Witherspoon and Vaughn star as Kate and Brad, two San Francisco yuppies who are happily unmarried and childless. Both are products of broken marriages, and in order to avoid seeing their families on Christmas, they have their own tradition of lying and saying they're going to do charity work in the developing world (how preposterous!), while they really go to Fiji. But this year, things change when a thick fog mucks with their flight (that darn San Francisco!), and the couple is forced to make an appearance at each of their parents' houses, neatly touching upon a whole slew of stereotypes. Out of all of them, at least one will strike home with you: There's "Trashy Christmas," with spray cheese, beer, and ultimate fighting; there's "Hippie Christmas," with Brad's mom (Sissy Spacek), who is now dating his ex-best friend; there's "Cougar Christmas," with Kate's lecherous female relations; and "Healthy, Wholesome Christmas," where—spoiler alert!—Kate realizes she does want a baby after all, to perpetuate the grand family/Christmas cycle that's the moral core of the film.

Along the way, Brad's brothers beat him up, Kate's mom breaks out the pictures from fat camp, pregnancy tests are pirated by small children, babies are mishandled, babies puke, and ultimatums are made because someone wants to have babies, babies, babies.

I'm on the next flight to Fiji.

Speaking of...

  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Trivial Pursuit

    Of Women, Comedy, and Hot Pursuit
    • May 6, 2015
  • Business as Usual
  • Business as Usual

    Unfinished Business: Vince Vaughn's Latest Paycheck
    • Mar 4, 2015
  • Altered States
  • Altered States

    Getting Stoned and Getting Lost with Inherent Vice
    • Jan 7, 2015
  • More »
Four Christmases
Rated PG-13 · 82 min. · 2008
Official Site:
Director: Seth Gordon
Writer: Matt Allen, Caleb Wilson, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Producer: Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber and Jonathan Glickman
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Jon Favreau, Mary Steenburgen, Dwight Yoakam, Tim McGraw, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Voight and Sissy Spacek


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Four Christmases


Comments are closed.

From the Archives

More by Marjorie Skinner

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy