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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

5 reasons I’d like to be psyched for ‘Four Christmases’

This is how uninspired I am by November: it’s taken me till halfway through the month to tell you how “psyched” I am for what they’re offering us to kick off the holiday season. How depressing is that? I found 3 to be truly excited about, but I’m having to fake it a bit for these last 2. Here’s 5 reasons why I’d like to be excited about No. 5 (but am having trouble with): Four Christmases [opens wide November 26].
1. I love Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, I think they’re both very funny, and I’m eager to see what kind of comedic chemistry they have together. On the other hand, the trailer (watch it at the official site) seems to indicate that the “humor” is mostly of the pratfall and general debasement variety. I’d love for this not to be Meet the Parents Times Four, but somehow I suspect that that’s how the writers pitched it.

2. Ah, the writers. Of the four writers credited here — does it honestly take four writers to come up with this stuff? — two of them, Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson, have no prior credits, so one can at least maintain a hope that, not yet having proven otherwise, they might have something original to say. On the other hand, the other two, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, “wrote” a Martin Lawrence movie, which is a capital crime in some states.

3. Director Seth Gordon made one of 2007’s best documentaries, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, which is ostensibly about a rivalry between champion Donkey Kong players but is actually an enthralling and highly entertaining portrait of good and evil… really. How he goes from that to this, what looks to be a bland holiday comedy that thinks all its “wacky” characters means it’s not insipid, I cannot fathom. On the other hand, perhaps Gordon will make it more than what it looks like on first glance.

4. Kristin Chenoweth is in this, and she’s always delightful.

5. Christmas. I love Christmas, and I always want to like Christmas movies, even though most of them are terrible and sappy and dumb and somehow end up making us want to kill our loved ones rather than making us want to spend time with them. But there are the rare exception to that, and maybe, pretty please, this will be one of the exceptions.

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  • Well, I like Kristin Chenoweth too and she’s always one of the best parts of many an otherwise bad movie–for example, Bewitched, RV, etc.–not to mention her being one of the best reasons to watch Pushing Daisies.

    But I still have ankle-high expectations for this flick and it doesn’t help that its premise seems to have stupidity smeared all over it. (Ewww!)

    Before we start hearing from the same poster who accused you of wanting every comedy to be like Schindler’s List, it should be noted that I don’t want any comedy to be like Schindler’s List. But if I can get more laughes from a film made in the 1930s or ’40s than I can from a film that was just made last year, I can’t but ask myself what that more recent film is doing wrong. After all, I should be more apt to laugh at the newer film because the film is more likely to contain jokes I haven’t heard before. But I’m not.

    Anyway, I like Christmas movies too but I’m more geeked for the recent DVD release of 1946’s Holiday Affair, a movie which I found to be genuinely funny, than I am for any recent holiday movie trailer I’ve seen thus far.

    Maybe that will change. One can’t help but hope. :-)

  • Please excuse me. I should have writtten “1949’s Holiday Affair“. It’s still a good movie though.

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