our Christmases “deals with tough realities,” said Josh Hurst in Christianity Today, but “it does so in a way that's honest and gracious.” The movie stars Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon as an unmarried couple who usually manage to avoid “their fractured, feuding families” but are forced to spend one Christmas Day visiting all of them. The ensuing madness is “very funny, very touching, and very real”—Four Christmases will “become a holiday favorite for many.”
Not for me, said Joe Leydon in The Houston Chronicle. “What initially promises to be a gleefully nasty holiday-themed comedy—a cup of Christmas jeer in the Bad Santa tradition—quickly devolves into a strenuously unfunny, broadly overplayed misfire.” Not to mention the fact that “Four Christmases wastes several talented people (including at least three Oscar winners) in underwritten roles.”
If you like Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, said MaryAnn Johanson in Flick Filosopher, “you’ll love them” in Four Christmases. And “while a bit more of the humiliation brand of physical comedy is deployed than a supposedly grownup movie should be attempting, much of it actually does work to generate sympathy” for the lead couple. “Still, the inevitable eventual swing to sentimentality” seems “like an abandonment of the movie’s earlier courage of its convictions.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- The Daily Show has some fun mocking the CPAC power players
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- 10 things you need to know today: March 11, 2014
Subscribe to the Week