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!