'Tis the season for a Christmas comedy. Brooding funny guy Vince Vaughan and America's sweetheart Reese Witherspoon play a couple who ambitiously attempt to visit all four of their divorced parents over the course of Christmas day, after their getaway plans turn sour. Considering Christmas movies are much maligned for their preference of cheesiness over quality, it may shock you to know that no less than five cast members have an Oscar on the mantle at home. Director Seth Gordon gets his first shot in the director’s chair of a fictional project after helming the feel good documentary hit The King of Kong.
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BY Flicks Writer
There are two genuinely funny moments in this blatant attempt at a festive Meet The Parents (times four). The first sees a small boy hollering "Google me, bitch! You might want to look me up, Barbara!" while attempting to lamp Vince Vaughn in the face. The second finds Vaughn getting carried away while playing Joseph in a church nativity performance and disowning Reese Witherspoon's Mary as an unfit mother before throwing his hands in the air and sending the congregation into raptures.... More
But that's it. Two laughs in an hour and 22 minutes. The rest of Four Holidays is a sour, tedious and desperate slew of gross-out cliches and irritatingly over-egged bickering.
The first time Vaughn and Jon Favreau shared the screen it was in the superb, witty 1996 indie hit Swingers. Seeing them reunited here (Favreau plays Vaughn's cage-fighting brother) just illustrates how much they've 'weathered' since then. You can almost forgive Favreau - directing's his main job these days, and he helmed Iron Man, which is cool - but Vaughn is still trading on the same smart-mouthed schtick, only without any of his old charm. 'Money' he is no more.
You might have expected better from Four Holidays, given the calibre of much of the cast (Jon Voight, Sissy Spacek, Robert Duvall and so on) and the fact that this is the fiction debut from King Of Kong filmmaker Seth Gordon. But while Kong was a brilliantly cinematic doco which transcended its own nerdy subject matter, this is a Christmas turkey of huge proportions. Bah, and indeed, humbug.Hide
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Obviously not the flicks reviewer type of movie, because some of the funniest and charming parts are the awkwardness in finding out more about the one they love. They have basically said we'll set the bar this high and not go any further. But once they go past these boundaries they have set, they realise they're missing out.
It has drama and comedy nicely balanced and you could say it's trying to tell its story rather than trying to be funny.
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