Two movies in the theatre in 10 days for me!!! Certainly a sign of the apocalypse! Or at least a sign of life returning to, well….my life!! Friday I was able to get out with a girlfriend for a movie & some shopping. Sadly the shopping never really panned out, but luckily for us the movie was well worth it.
Four Christmases is the story of a couple who unwittingly spend Christmas day with each of their four (divorced) parents. Hardly a novel idea, honestly, divorce & blended families have been around for a wee bit now. But, what could really have been your standard "crazy family at the holidays" movie is totally elevated by fantastic performances. And there are a lot of them. First up are Vince Vaughn & Reese Witherspoon, who are hysterical (& strangely enough have fabulous chemistry) as our poor couple forced to endure a re-hashing of all of their insecurities of youth through these four visits. (And yes, Reese Witherspoon is that tiny compared to Vince Vaughn. Honestly she looked like a sprite next to him. I somewhat expected him to pick her up & carry her around on his shoulder. But those are the digressions of a tall girl.) Round out the cast with Robert Duvall, Mary Steenburgen, Sissy Spacek, Kristen Chenoweth, Jon Voight, & in the "you’ll barely recognize him" role as an UFC also-ran brother, Jon Favreau. Oh ya, and did I mention that they also seemed to tap into country music for two of the funniest cameos by Tim McGraw & Dwight Yokam. But, hands down, the best role in the whole movie has to go to sister-in-law Susan (played by Katy Mixon). When she started talking about her breastfeeding nipples, I just about peed my pants! Maybe it was just me.
Speaking of laughing, you’ll do a lot of it during this movie. I honestly almost had Diet Coke shoot out of my nose at one point. I don’t want to ruin the best parts, but all I’ll say is that Vince Vaughn looked at another character & said "we used to smell each other’s hands." What does that even mean?!? Seeing as I have two boys, I most assuredly (& frighteningly) will find out someday!!
I was a bit worried, after the first family visit, that it would descend into a "Meet the Family"-type mean-fest, but most (not all) of the characters were more than skin deep, & really surprised me. What was amazing was that in a movie that clocks in at just under 90 min they were able to introduce characters who were so layered & not just what your first impression led you to believe. It truly is a testament to the great actors involved in this movie.
So, if you are looking for a great laugh, without the kids, this Holiday Season & maybe a moment to reflect & feel better about your crazy family, Four Christmases will not disappoint.