Went to check out Four Christmases with Lenny, which is a romantic comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. Don't ask me why Robert Duvall and Jon Voight were in this movie other than an easy paycheck. The plot is very simple, and would lend itself to funny if there was a tad bit more comedy, and a tad bit less romantic. Even if you are gay for Vaughn, as I am, you will walk away disappointed. Certainly not his finest hour - about on par with The Break-Up but Witherspoon was not as good as Jennifer Aniston. I'd say Witherspoon was about as good as she was in Legally Blonde 2, but not as good as she was in the original Legally Blonde. So in a nutshell, if you just need to see Vince Vaughn again, just watch Swingers or Wedding Crashers again; if you are in a pinch to see a chick-friendly comedy then go with Role Models or even Zack and Miri. For those looking for more than a nutshell, feel free to continue reading.
As you would have seen from the trailer, Brad (Vaughn) and Kate (Witherspoon) are a happy, young couple that is on their way to scuba diving in Fiji, when all of the flights out are grounded due to extreme weather. In order to make this flight during Christmas, rather than visiting each of their parents (both come from broken homes), they lied and said they were actually going to Burmu. Conveniently, a television news reporter is at the airport, who decides to ask our lead stars how they feel about not being able to fly, which of course means their families are watching them on TV. How quaint. The rest is pretty self explanatory - they go to each of their parent's houses, and learn little tid bits about each other. As the "story" progresses, Kate keeps noticing how little she knows about Brad (and vice versa), and that she does eventually want to settle down with children, even though Brad has seemed to successfully keep this thought far from her brain until this Christmas misadventure.
What sucked most is the opening scene of the film showed so much promise that I felt hoodwinked after watching the rest of it. Aside from the occasional funny scene - which came predominantly while they were visiting Brad's dad, Howard (played by Duvall) - the film came up pretty flat in my book. The one textbook Vince Vaughn scene was when he played Joseph in a reenactment of the nativity scene with baby Jesus. He said to Kate,
Find your truth...I'm going to blow the roof off this bitch.
By the end of the film, when Kate visited her dad (played by Voight) alone, it was all mushy mushville. And not good mushy where you felt moved, but just forced upon you mushy; like one minute mashed potatoes versus homemade mashed potatoes (of course, this reference doesn't work if your version of "homemade" is one minute...). Quite literally all the comedy stopped from when Kate was dropped off at her dad's house, which was the last parental visit. Very disappointing, to say the least, even if they had just cut it after the third house visit. The weirdest thing to me was when I checked to see the runtime, and found out it was only 82 minutes, because it easily felt like a two-hour jobber.
If you heed my advice, and skip this film, then I need to at least fill you in on the best line in the script. Howard was speaking to Brad about his ex-wife (e.g. Brad's mom), and said this of her:
...don't want to speak ill of your mother on Christmas, but she's nothing but a common street whore.
Even though he didn't play a big role in the film, there was one cutesy little Jon Favreau factoid that Lenny mentioned during Four Christmases. The guy playing Brad's mom's boyfriend was the guy that played Sue in Swingers - Patrick Van Horn. I didn't recognize him at first because he put on some weight, but my inner movie nerd was hard as a rock after I noticed. So, what have we learned today? Even if you love Vince Vaughn, save your 12 bucks, or don't bitch at me after you are whole-heartedly disappointed.