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Four Christmases

His father, her mother, his mother and her father all in one day. 

Year: 2008 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Seth Gordon 
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight  
An image from Four Christmases

Brad (Vaughn) and Kate (Witherspoon) have it all planned out. They’ve booked the flight to Fiji, fobbed off the family with an excuse about charity work, and they’re on the way to the airport. And, because nothing can ever go exactly right in a romantic comedy, all the flights are cancelled and a TV crew is there to interview them about their ruined Christmas - an interview that each of their parents can’t fail to see. Brad and Kate are forced to spend Christmas with their family – all their families. Four different parents, all in one day.

Vaughn is an experienced comedy performer, but it’s actually Witherspoon who gets the best lines of the pair. Some moments are genuinely adorable, and Witherspoon's comedic sparring with Vaughn is thoroughly enjoyable. However, the medals really belong to the supporting cast, with Robert Duvall and Mary Steenburgen making a particularly strong showing as Brad’s father and Kate’s mother. The cast make a fairly average script (this is a traditional Hollywood Christmas movie, after all) stand out.

Though it sometimes feels a little messy – as though someone had crowbarred a Santa costume and a bit of fake snow on to an otherwise perfectly serviceable romantic comedy - the eclectic supporting cast and the winning combination of Vaughn and Witherspoon make Four Christmases a nice slice of holiday fun and perfect to get you in the mood for Christmas.

Tommy Conway

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Screenings of this film:

2009/2010 Autumn Term (35mm)