MOVIE REVIEWS : Four Christmases

When your significant other tells you you both need an exit “safe word” before you enter his dad’s Christmas gathering, you know you’re not in Bedford Falls. But while Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon may not be It’s a Wonderful Life’s George and Mary Bailey, Four Christmases is a modern holiday classic in its own right. For one thing, every family neurosis and dysfunction have taken root in the four families of Vaughn and Witherspoon’s characters, Brad and Kate--and the sleek yuppie façade each has built with the other is about to come tumbling down.

When your significant other tells you you both need an exit “safe word” before you enter his dad’s Christmas gathering, you know you’re not in Bedford Falls.

But while Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon may not be It’s a Wonderful Life’s George and Mary Bailey, Four Christmases is a modern holiday classic in its own right.

For one thing, every family neurosis and dysfunction have taken root in the four families of Vaughn and Witherspoon’s characters, Brad and Kate--and the sleek yuppie façade each has built with the other is about to come tumbling down.

There are real belly laughs as the couple unexpectedly has to spend holidays with their four extended family groups.

“I don’t want to speak ill of your mother on Christmas,” growls Howard (Robert Duvall) to son Brad, while Brad’s bullnecked ultimate-fighter brothers are rassling everything in sight, “but she’s nothing but a common street whore.”

Brad may cringe, but Kate’s own family is about to mortify her in abundant ways, from her randy “Gram-Gram” and about-to-pounce cougar mom Mary Steenburgen (“I feel like a Saudi prince in here,” marvels Brad as all of Kate’s female relatives drape themselves over him), to the revelation to Brad that Kate used to be--how to put this--a bit on the chubby side.

If the plot isn’t full of surprises, the quips are nonstop and the acting believable and charming. The supporting cast also includes Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau and Dwight Yoakam in a memorable turn as the mega-church pastor Steenburgen’s character is involved with.

It’s a comic Christmas blessing, and there’ll be no need to say “mistletoe”--at least not till the viewers are home with their own families. --A.T. Hurley

Being the Christmas season, we’ve made a collection of interesting Christmas movies that you and your families might enjoy as we try to make merry the festive season. Merry Christmas!

The Original Christmas Classics

Who’s got a nose for Christmas? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! Just in time for the holidays, here comes Rudolph in the most beloved special of all time! Packed with a sleigh full of memorable songs and unforgettable characters, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer lights up the hearts of young and old alike.

Where does Santa’s suit come from? Why does he slide down the chimney? Why does he live at the North Pole?

The answers to all these questions and the origins of our favorite holiday traditions are revealed in this delightful classic about Kris Kringle, the world’s most famous gift giver.

Look at Frosty Go! What’s become a bigger holiday tradition than building a snowman? Watching the original Christmas classic, Frosty the Snowman! Grab your scarf, bundle up, and get ready for the incredible adventure of a magical snowman who’s got enough personality to win over the whole family. You can’t go wrong with Frosty!

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Ho, ho, heyooo! Christmas is upon us and the Paddy’s gang has got the spirit. Well, not really. For them, the holidays have always been a time of trickery, backstabbing, and disappointment.

But this year things are going to be different as they are determined to rediscover the joy in Christmas. Join Mac, Charlie, Dennis, Dee and Frank as they embark on a holiday adventure filled with stolen toys, childhood videos, naked elves, and a bloody run in with Santa Claus that is guaranteed to blast Christmas spirit all over you!

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