Chestnuts roasting on an open fire should be the farthest thought in people’s minds when it comes to “Four Christmases.” A comedy of explicit proportions, the film doesn’t exactly deal with yuletide carols and Jack Frost nipping at one’s nose. Instead, it sets the treasured holiday as the backdrop for a series of hysterical events.
Directed by Seth Gordon, the comedy showcases the considerable talents of its two stars, Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, whose onscreen chemistry sizzles in practically every scene they are in together.
“Four Christmases” centers on their characters – Brad and Kate – a cheerful San Francisco couple that prefers to remain blissfully unwed. Every Christmas, in an attempt to avoid their eccentric families – four sets of divorced parents and zany siblings, Brad and Kate take a vacation to an exotic locale to relax. However, things change when their flight is canceled and their dumbfounded faces are plastered on a newscast, prompting phone calls from all four of their respective households.
The couple is expected home, which leads to four Christmases in one day. The results prove to be absolutely entertaining and downright hilarious.
Vaughn, who is a master at comedy, is simply excellent in his role as Brad. The way he cracks a joke or delivers a simple line is pure gold, which is saying something considering the fact it doesn’t take much effort.
The same can be said about Witherspoon who has certainly come a long way since her days as Elle Woods in MGM’s “Legally Blonde” franchise. Now an Academy Award winning actress, Witherspoon gives Vaughn someone to play off of and sparkles in the role.
Lending a helping hand is a supporting cast of all-star players. Gordon cleverly infused his holiday comedy with an amazing array of actors and actresses including veterans and smart newcomers. Among the supporting cast members is the hilarious Jon Favreau as Denver, Brad’s younger brother. Favreau, who recently directed the summer blockbuster “Iron Man,” is exceptional as is Grammy winning country star Tim McGraw who stars as Dallas, Brad’s other brother. The two make for a clever combination providing endless chuckles.
Also on board for the fun are Oscar winners Sissy Spacek and Mary Steenburgen, as well as Oscar nominee Robert Duvall.
“Four Christmases” opened over a very competitive Thanksgiving weekend with an impressive $46.7 million. That’s Vaughn’s best premiere sum since the $39.3 million he earned on “The Break Up” and Witherspoon’s best bow since the $35.6 million she garnered with “Sweet Home Alabama” according to reports on EW.com.
Needless to say, $46.7 million is definitely impressive, but Christmas has always been the season of giving.