It’s a perfect time for Christmas movies to start coming out, seeing as the decorations have been up in the stores since like September. And so, we’re tackling Four Christmases today, a movie that shows that sometimes, time with the family is the best gift of all.
Even if you don’t notice it at first.
This time, a young couple who’s not terribly interested in getting married, usually manages to duck their family obligations around the holidays by making up elaborate stories and going off to various getaways instead. But a surprise San Francisco fogbank socks in the airport irrevocably, and so the four are left forced to spend Christmas in the last place on earth they want to…with their families.
Families. FOUR of them. Both of their families are divorced, and thus, they’ll have to spend four Christmases in just one day.
What’s so unnerving about this movie is that it veers so wildly between hilarious and awkward that it almost can’t decide whether it’s supposed to be funny or uncomfortable. It’s like the fat kid at school…he’s trying desperately to be funny, but it’s actually just about as sad.
Each of the families is deranged for its own reason, and believe me, they’re deranged. The least of the deranged is a family of backwoods amateur ultimate fighters. It gets worse from there.
It’s awkward. It’s painful, in spots. But it’s also got a lot of humor and warmth to it. There’s lots to enjoy here. We’ve all seen this kind of thing before. This is Christmas at its absolute. Family, friends, lovers, growth. Life.
Four Christmases is like LIFE.
And as such, the Screenhead Ten Scale gives this strange little allegory a six out of ten. There’s lots to like here, and there’s lots to feel uncomfortable about. It IS life. Take it for what it’s worth.