movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: Couple who avoids Christmas for 3 years now must go to 4 different family Christmases in 1 day.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Free spirits eventually succumb to the control of their biological clocks. DNA rules you!

PEOPLE: Starring Vince Vaughn (who seems a lil’ fatter) and Reese Witherspoon (looking even better than usual).

With other family members played by Kristin Chenoweth (she is Miracle Grohe from Sit Down, Shut Up! And looks a lot like her animated character! Boobs, too.), Jon Voight (Jonas Hodges from 24 in 2009), Robert Duvall (Karl’s Father in Sling Blade), Sissy Spacek (Blast From The Past), Jon Favreau (Swingers, Made, I Love You Man, Iron Man, Daredevil), Mary Steenburgen (Back To The Future 3, Step Brothers), Dwight Yoakam (Crank 1 – 2, Sling Blade), Tim McGraw (fortunately very minor), Katy Mixon (The Informers) as the pregnant spray-cheese girl, and Colleen Camp (Last Action Hero, Wayne’s World) as a cougar aunt. I mention her, because Carolyn was like, “That lady.”

Although she was only in it for a minute, I totally recognized Collette Wolf from Observe And Report (and The Foot Fist Way), even though she was blonde here.

QUIRKS: Families. Holidays. Family stress. Relationship stress. Wait a second — is this a comedy?!?!

MORALS: Free will gives way to DNA programming. You have no choice. May as well have a crib full of shit-producing babies and get it over with. (Ugh.)

BAD STUFF: I totally identified the exact, precise moment (within 1 second) that the humor stopped. It was predictable like that. Basically, the first 2 Christmases were funny, the 3rd one began the tension, and by the 4th one there was no comedy left.

CONCLUSION: Not as much of a comedy as we had wanted, but it was good to watch during the stressful holiday season, to see the funny parts.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10. It would have been 4/5 stars if the comedy had been consistent, but it fell into the romantic comedy pitfall.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: /10, Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.3/5 stars–and they are right because we ultimately rated this 3/5 despite more people rating it 4/5).

RECOMMENDATION: Keep in mind that this is ultimately a romantic comedy. Proceed with caution. There are definitely funny moments, and if you’ve had to run around and visit multiple Christmases like the 3 we used to have to go to (before people started dying and the number dropped to 2) … Then the stressful situations will at least make you happy via schadenfreude.

MOVIE QUOTE: Howard: Boys, I don’t want to speak ill of your mother on Christmas, but she’s nothing but a common street whore.

Darryl: Look, Brad. I’m not trying to be your father, you already got one of those. I’m just hoping for a chance to be your friend.
Brad: You were my friend, Darryl. You were my best friend. We grew up together, we rode bikes together, we used to smell each others hands. But now you’re sleeping with my mom and it’s a little bit weird for me. Can you appreciate that?

COINCIDENCES: (real life, Four Christmases) While watching a Christmas movie during Christmas season, fog caused the events to happen in the movie, and it was actually super-foggy outside when this happened in the movie.

Mood: why did Pixies cover the theme from narc, anyway?
Music: Reel Big Fish – Gigantic