Four Disappointments

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Four Christmases - Movie PosterFOUR CHRISTMASES starts off bad, goes downhill from there with a lot of cheap laughs and easy shtick, and then it even also ends poorly, which all make it the perfect representation for Christmas.

Reese Witherspoon stars as Kate, Vince Vaughn is Brad, and they have been dating for three years with no intention of ever getting married or having children.

They live in San Francisco, and every year at Christmas they have lied to their parents in order to avoid spending Christmas with them.

As Brad tells his friends at one point, “You can’t really spell ‘families’ without ‘lies.'”

However, I am getting ahead of myself: The opening of the film is cheap and bogus, and it is designed to fool the audience more than to lend an insight into Kate and Brad.

So, rather than spend Christmas with either of their parents, they lie to them and tell them that they have to go off somewhere and do charity work, when in reality Kate and Brad are off to some exotic country for a vacation.

This year they plan to go to Fiji, but when they get to the airport, intense fog has caused all flights to be canceled, and they happen to be interviewed live by a local television crew about their canceled plans.

Of course, their parents see them on the news being interviewed, call them immediately, and guilt them into visiting on Christmas. Only problem is, both sets of parents are divorced, and thus Kate and Brad have to make four visits in one day, which adds up to “four Christmases.” Get it?

The four parents are played by Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, and Mary Steenburgen, and so we are not dealing with lightweight actors here, just lightweight material.

They visit Brad’s father first, and Kate learns some secrets about Brad that he had never told her. Then they visit Kate’s mother, and Brad learns some secrets about Kate that she had never told him.

Do you see a pattern here?

Yes, in satisfying their parents at Christmastime and meeting each other’s siblings, Kate and Brad learn more about each other, which can either strengthen their relationship or end it altogether.

And the moral of the story is nothing really beats being honest.

FOUR CHRISTMASES is nothing more than four disappointments.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”