By Sandra Kraisirideja
“Four Christmases” is not a holiday classic. The story of an unmarried couple dodging Christmas with their families is burdened by a flat script and a cast that seems to be going through the motions. Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon star as the happily unmarried couple who prefer to vacation in tropical locations during the holidays rather than spend time with their families, but they get caught and have to spend the day schlepping between their respective mothers’ and fathers’ families.
Thanks to Vaughn’s signature rapid-fire banter and Witherspoon’s perkiness, the movie has a few moments of hilarity, but for the most part it stumbles from scene to scene with bleak predictability. The main problem is the script, which lacks originality and an interesting conflict to help drive the story forward. There’s also not enough time to show the history between Vaughn and Witherspoon. How did they meet and what keeps them together? These questions never get answered. Then there’s the cast. In addition to the aforementioned Vaughn and Witherspoon, “Four Christmases” boasts a few Oscar nominees and winners, including Sissy Spacek, Robert Duvall and John Voight. What these fine actors are doing in “Four Christmases” is anybody’s guess. Their talent is absolutely wasted and it’s a shame to see them deliver the script’s lifeless lines.