Thursday, November 27, 2008

Review: Four Christmases

A trip yesterday evening to the 6.30 showing of "Four Christmases" at the Andover cinema. The theatre was almost completely full - Wednesday is cheap night, but that may not be the entire explanation - and the audience 95% young female for this romantic comedy.

Plot summary (from Wikipedia). Not really spoilers as there is little suspense.

"No one more enjoys the holidays than Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon).

Every December 25th, this happily unmarried, upscale San Francisco couple embark on a holiday tradition they have shared every year since they met-ditching their crazy familes for a relaxing, fun-filled vacation in some sunny exotic locale. There, slipping margaritas by the pool, they toast the season, knowing they once again avoided the chaos and emotional fallout of their four respective households: divorced parents, squabbling siblings, out-of-control kids and all the simmering resentments and awkward moments that are the hallmarks of every family Christmas.

But not this year. Shorts and sunglasses packed, Brad and Kate are trapped at the San Francisco airport by a fogbank that cancels every outbound flight. Worse yet, they are caught on camera by a local news crew, revealing their whereabouts to the whole city... and to their families. With no escape and no excuses, they are now expected home by Brad's Father (Robert Duvall) and Kate's mother (Mary Steenburgen). And Brad's mother (Sissy Spacek) And Kate's father (Jon Voight).

Four Christmases in one day.

As they brace themselves for a marathon of homecomings, Brad and Kate expect the worst-and that's exactly what they get. But as Brad counts down the minutes to their freedom, Kate surprisingly finds herself tuned to the ticking of a different clock. At the end of the day, each will gain a new perspective on where they came from... and where they're going. Getting to know themselves and each other as they really are could finally give them a chance at the kind of love they've only been playing at."

Clare reckoned it was thin gruel, but I did catch her laughing out loud more than a few times. There was a particularly amusing serial gag of various babies projectile-vomiting over the unfortunate Kate (I guess you had to be there).