Monday, December 01, 2008

For Christmas

I can't get the colors quite how I want them for Christmas. These are the ones I want, but I can't get them where I want them. Oh well. Happy Christmas! I hope y'all all had a nice Thanksgiving. Are you kind of overwhelmed that it was so late this year after being so early last year? It seems like most people are.I am having a hard time moving into Christmas mode, except that I have already given my parents their Christmas gifts, am mailing my sister's family's gifts tomorrow, and am looking at my lit up, fully decorated tree right now in front of a window with a view of a yard covered in snow. So I guess I am not having trouble! Something still feels not Christmas-y though. And that could be because it is just now December. Or I think it may just be the homesickness. I am so blessed to have my ornaments so I really should not complain. I am, however, really missing my dishes, my linens, my couch, my shelves, even my coffee table and pictures of my family, and now, all my Christmas bakeware and the other little things I decorate with for Christmas. My friend Jessie had some insider information (and more than the typical person's gift for empathy and insight) and sent me a care package full of extra Christmas goodies. My favorites are pictured here, a set of three ornaments from Crate and Barrel, little children all bundled up in red sweaters and ready for Christmas play, and a great kids' apron from Ikea that really does fit me! 

We went to see Four Christmases last night. My parents were in town and offered us $30 and a night without the kids. How could we say no to that?! We had seen previews for Four Christmases months ago and thought it looked fun. I mean, Vince Vaughn is hysterical to me. When I went to look up show times on Fandango, I noticed that there were a lot of bad reviews. I clicked over to Rotten Tomatoes and found even worse reviews. We searched and searched for any other movie that looked even remotely appealing and found nothing. By that time I had a serious craving for popcorn and decided that it was my dad's money we'd be wasting if the movie was bad, and that it couldn't be any worse than the last movie we saw in the theater, Tropic Thunder (we went to see that after a recommendation from one of George's seminary professors!) Well, I have to say that we laughed the entire time. I cannot understand all the bad reviews. I feel the need to rebut them. So, here you go,  a rebuttal of bad Four Christmases reviews. 

First of all, I have an argument against average people's reviews. Some people had a problem with the fact that Reese Witherspoon's and Vince Vaughn's characters were not married. And okay, that is less than ideal. But really, why are you going to see this movie if that fact will ruin the movie for you? When was the last time you saw a movie where all the couples were married and the couples who weren't were in very innocent and appropriate relationships? It just doesn't happen in Hollywood. So get over it, or don't go to the movies. And let me just say that there were no bedroom scenes or anything like that. It was surprisingly clean. Some people had a problem with the fact that these two main characters were lying to and avoiding their families at Christmas. Again, why in the world would you go see this movie if you have a problem with that? Seeing and enjoying this movie does not mean that you would do that, but that you can laugh at and even, on some level, sympathize with the characters and the situation they find themselves in. It is, after all, the premise of the movie. Other people had a problem with the church scene. Oh dear, I really don't think I need to defend it to anyone who reads this blog. You all know me to be a faithful churchgoer and married to a man whose goal is to be a full time pastor. I laughed (and pastor husband laughed) out loud and often during the church scene. It was hysterical. 

Let's see, what about "the critics?" Honestly, critics seem to me to be entirely too self important to give the energy required to sift through their jargon-y commentary to find out exactly what they are saying. Most of them seemed to think it wasn't funny. And well, if you don't like the typical Vince Vaughn comedy or can't laugh at lowbrow comedy (not potty humor though, y'all know I can't laugh at potty humor! also, very very few lewd jokes, which I also hate), I reckon it isn't. And some seemed to think it was a little contrived. I have to agree on that point. What Christmas movie isn't? There are a few that do this seamlessly and artfully, but for the most part, it's going to have to end happy, seeing as how it's Christmas, and that means getting everything resolved quickly a la Brady Bunch. I have no idea why Vince Vaughn changed his mind at the end of the movie. I knew he would and I was glad he did, so I didn't really care. It could be that I went in with such very low expectations after reading all the bad reviews, but I just wasn't expecting a Christmas comedy to make me cry. I didn't want a Christmas comedy to make me cry. I wanted it to make me laugh. And it did. A lot. One last thing, another element of the typical Christmas movie that was lacking (and thank heaven for that) was the whole "magical" element. I am not sure if people were expecting that, or some sort of "heartwarming" moment where the Scrooge is transformed, but I count the absence of that type of worn out, sentimental silliness as something quite welcome. 

But please don't be mad at me if you go see this and don't like it. You may also keep in mind that some of my favorite movies are Zoolander and Love Actually. I am not comparing this movie to those, just letting you know what types of things I like. What else I like is makin' cookies. I will be making a lot this month. I will post anything I think worthy of sharing. I have already made dozens this week that I don't want to share. But I am really picky. And not just about cookies, I'm picky about movies too. And that's why I really think y'all will enjoy Four Christmases. I cannot say the same about the pumpkin mousse tart or the bread pudding I made for Thanksgiving, or the peanut butter surprise cookies, the Canadian maple-date cookies, or the chocolate chip pumpkin bars I made before and since. We'll keep at it though, I am sure there will be delicious recipes to be shared in the near future!

4 comments:

Jessie said...

I love the colors! And I wish I could see your happy home. AND, I am glad you had a night out! Miss you!

Anonymous said...

Abby,
Brian and I liked Four Christmases too. Of course it was predictable but hysterical!! I also really like Love Actually in a different sort of way. Happy baking...you have very lucky children to be the recipients of so many treats:)
Sara

e.c. said...

Hey! We still have to catch up! Glad y'all liked Four Christmases...Bobby and I really want to see that, maybe someday....I had heard that Rotten Tomatoes gave it a really bad review, but I'm glad we can safely disregard that :) I mean, I like really silly stuff like Elf and What About Bob?, so I'm sure I'll think it's funny. It's funny that people had problems with the deception and such. I think what happens(and I tend to do this all the time too), is you do judge a movie the first time you see it based on your ideals and moral compass...not that you shouldn't, but I think there are certain movies(of the silly, hysterical variety) that are obviously not meant to be taken that way, and once you've seen them a few times, you just take them with a grain of salt. I mean, take Ferris Bueller's day off....of course what he did was wrong, deceptive, disrespectful, etc., and we would never want our children to see that and emulate it, but we all know it's funny and one day our children will be able to watch it with us and know the difference between funny and something we should all copy. Sooo many of the funniest movies are like that.

Were y'all not at all interested in seeing Australia? We haven't seen it, but my mom saw it and said it's the best movie she's seen the past five years....like Gone with the Wind, but with a good ending.

Abby said...

well, i did think about Australia but it is too long and possibly boring (according to reviews- but we know what I think of them!) i am a huge fan of nicole and baz together after moulin rouge and then the chanel commercials. so i definitely want to see it. i just am not sure about spending the cash to see it on the big screen. then again, it was my parents' cash, which has now been spent, but i figured laughing and enjoying a night out with lighter fare would be way more fun than going to see a drama that might leave me with a weight on my shoulders. i guess i am not much of a drama for date night person. i mean, drama is all good and well in the comfort of my own home, but i enjoy a "fun" movie for a night out. anyway, glad to hear a positive review. like i said, i do so love baz.

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