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"FOUR CHRISTMASES"
(2008) (Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Mild *Heavy Minor None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Mild None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy *None Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A happily unmarried and childless couple aren't thrilled when their flight to a tropical destination is canceled, meaning they end up having to visit each other's divorced parents on Christmas Day.
PLOT:
Brad (VINCE VAUGHN) and Kate (REESE WITHERSPOON) have been dating for three years, but have no intention of ever getting married or having kids, what with how their respective, divorced parents and families turned out. In fact, they so dislike the thought of getting together with them that not only have they not met the other's families, but they also travel abroad over the holidays to avoid any such get-together, lying that they're bound by charitable work.

When their flight to Fiji is canceled, however, and they end up on the TV news as just one of many stranded holiday travelers, their respective parents call and demand a holiday visit. Their first stop is to see Brad's redneck dad, Howard (ROBERT DUVALL), and his two other sons, Denver (JON FAVREAU) and Dallas (TIM McGRAW), who are amateur ultimate wrestlers. All of them view Brad as being an elitist and do their best to put him in his place.

Next up is a visit to see Kate's mom, Marilyn (MARY STEENBURGEN), and sister, Courtney (KRISTIN CHENOWETH), among others there, who delight in telling Brad embarrassing stories about his live-in girlfriend's past. That is, when they don't attend church presided over by Marilyn's new boyfriend, Pastor Phil (DWIGHT YOAKUM), where the young couple is volunteered to play Joseph and Mary in the Christmas pageant.

That's followed by a trip to see Brad's mom, Paula (SISSY SPACEK), who's now involved with his former best friend from their childhood, Darryl (PATRICK VAN HORN), and then a visit to see Kate's dad, Creighton (JON VOIGHT), who's come to realize the error of his previous ways and the importance of family. As they make their way from one get-together to the next, Brad and Kate come to realize that perhaps they don't know each other as well as they thought they did, and now have different expectations regarding their future together.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into Christmas comedies and/or are fans of anyone in the cast, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sexual humor and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • VINCE VAUGHN plays an average guy who's happy in his relationship with Kate and the fact that they both agree they don't want to get married or have kids. Like her, he also doesn't want to visit any of their divorced parents and thus lies to his about heading overseas for charity work. He does some sexual role playing with Kate (leading to sex in a public restroom), uses some profanity, and has his no marriage and no kids mentality strengthened by their unplanned visits with both families.
  • REESE WITHERSPOON plays his girlfriend of three years who initially shares the same sentiments, but eventually changes, thus putting her at odds with him.
  • ROBERT DUVALL plays Brad's redneck dad who uses profanity, drinks, and is none too happy with him.
  • JON FAVREAU plays his son and one of Brad's brothers, an amateur ultimate wrestling aficionado who uses various such moves on Brad. He also drinks, isn't happy with what he views as Brad's elitism, and also sports tattoos and a Mohawk haircut.
  • TIM McGRAW plays their other brother who's far more aligned with Denver than Brad. He also drinks and similarly uses various physical wrestling moves on him.
  • MARY STEENBURGEN plays Kate's mom, who's now involved with a preacher and briefly uses profanity.
  • KRISTIN CHENOWETH plays Kate's pregnant sister who shows lots of cleavage and enjoys telling Brad embarrassing stories about Kate's past.
  • DWIGHT YOAKUM plays Marilyn's new boyfriend, a flamboyant pastor at her church.
  • SISSY SPACEK plays Brad's mom who's now married to his former childhood friend, and engages in some sexual talk.
  • PATRICK VAN HORN plays Brad's former childhood best friend who's now with his (Brad's) mother, and sees nothing wrong with that.
  • JON VOIGHT plays Kate's dad who, through past experience, understands the meaning of family and tries to help impart some of that wisdom to his daughter.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 3 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue and humor are present, including that of some sexual role playing leading up to a sexual encounter in public restroom (not seen in full, but heavily suggested), while lots of cleavage is also present.

    Comedy-based violence includes some ultimate wrestling moves done on one person, kids attacking an adult who then throws them around, and some slapstick style material. That and other potentially imitative behavior is present, and several scenes involve crude humor.

    Various characters drink, while there's a subtle drug reference regarding pot and a not so subtle one about smoking while pregnant. Various comedy-based bad attitudes are present, as is some related tense family material

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks in a bar.
  • People have drinks at a party where Kate has wine.
  • We see some wine by Kate and Brad.
  • Howard has a beer.
  • About handing out Christmas gifts, Howard says they should keep it moving as he's starting to lose his beer buzz.
  • Howard, Dallas, and Denver have beer up on the roof while watching Brad tried to install a satellite dish. Dallas tells one of his boys to go get them more beer (but we don't see that).
  • We see a beer by Denver while he eats, while Paula tells her granddaughter not to eat any of her "special brownies."
  • Kate and her family have wine with Christmas dinner.
  • Howard has a beer and then tells Brad they should go inside and have a drink.
  • Kate has wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Courtney states she must keep her infant moving due to it having gas, and to get it to poo.
  • Courtney has Kate hold her infant, and tells her to see if the boy made a "stinky" in his diaper. Kate looks in there and confirms that (we don't see anything), and just then the infant projectile vomits all over Kate. That causes Brad to start to gag and nearly vomit. We later see Kate cleaning some of that baby's vomit off her face and clothes, but some is still in her hair.
  • Kate goes through Courtney's baby bag in the bathroom, finds a pregnancy test and decides to use it for herself. We then see her sitting on the toilet but don't see or hear any actual urination. Her young niece then walks in and Kate tells her it's a magic marker instead of a pregnancy test stick and the girl runs away with it. After trying to get it back, Kate eventually tells the girl who has that pregnancy test stick in her mouth, that she (Kate) peed on that.
  • A newborn baby does some projectile vomiting onto one or both of its parents.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Brad and Kate are going to Fiji for Christmas, and lie to their parents that they are doing so for charity work rather than vacation, all so that they don't have to spend Christmas with their families.
  • Continuing with that, Brad lies to his mother on the phone about why he and Kate can't spend Christmas with her.
  • When their flight to Fiji is canceled due to fog, Brad is upset and has a bad attitude toward the airline representative.
  • Brad and Kate progressively end up bickering with each other more as they spend time with their respective parents, and learn that they (Brad and Kate) don't know each other as well as they thought they did.
  • Denver grabs his brother Brad and then does various ultimate wrestling moves on him, including hitting him in the chest with the palm of his hand, and then having his legs wrapped around Brad's neck, bending his fingers to cause him some pain. This occurs again later and includes Dallas and his sons joining in on the abuse.
  • After Brad gives his nephews expensive Christmas gifts, not knowing there was a $10 maximum value limit, Dallas' kids have a bad attitude about what they receive from their father and Santa, with Brad letting the cat out of the bag about Santa not really existing, thus further upsetting the kids.
  • Howard isn't happy about Brad's Christmas gift to him being a satellite dish, stating that the installer is probably a sex predator who will be touching his underpants.
  • Howard states that his ex-wife's new boyfriend is a "first-class ass sniffer," and that ex-wife is nothing more "than a common street whore" (for having left him in the past). Brad then reminds his father that Howard stopped talking to her which is why she left.
  • About the drawbacks of being pregnant, Courtney states one of them is trying to sneak a cigarette while in that state.
  • Kate's mom implies that Kate had a lesbian relationship with a friend in her past.
  • Some viewers might not like jokes about Kate being fat when she was a kid, including via various photos of just that, and talk of her going to fat camp. Later, Brad jokes that she was a big enough baby that it appeared she was one of two twins, and that she ate her sister in utero.
  • Kate's niece and other kids play keep away from her with her pregnancy test stick in a moon bounce type of backyard attraction. They then pile on top of her, with one boy repeatedly banging her head down to the inflated rubber floor. One then kicks her out of the moon bounce, but she then goes back inside that and starts throwing and flipping various kids around to get that pregnancy test stick.
  • When Pastor Phil announces that they need replacements to play Joseph and Mary in their church nativity play, Kate's mom volunteers her to play Mary despite Kate having just said she did not want to do that. Kate then gets Brad to play Joseph, and he really gets into the role, eventually getting mad at her in a hyped up actor fashion when she forgets her lines, and can't find the swaddle cloth to put around the baby Jesus. After that's done, they bicker.
  • During that, Brad asks about whether his character would be cool with God getting Mary pregnant (some viewers might not like the sexual reference).
  • Kate and Brad have a falling out and go their separate ways back to their own childhood homes.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • For those afraid of heights: As Brad tries to install a satellite dish on his father's roof, he ends up tugging too hard on the dish, with it then pulling away from the roof and him falling down it. The cable inside the house then pulls away from the walls, knocking various things to the floor. Back up top, Brad thinks he's stopped falling, but the rest of the cable gives way, sending him falling into the shrubs (all played for comedy).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sh*t, that feels good," "Sh*tty," "Are you sh*tting me?" "You dirty little slut," "Your mother is nothing but a common street whore," "You pulled the goalie? (stopped using contraception), "Blah, blah, blah," "Bitch, I'm talking to you" (said in a role-playing, sexual manner), "I don't give a damn," "She sucks," "Are you crazy?" "Dude cockfighters," "Google me, bitch" (said to a man), "Let's keep it moving, I'm starting to lose my buzz over here," "Dude," "A first class ass sniffer," "Crappy," "What the hell does that mean?" "Shut up," "You idiot," "You big, fat, purple teddy bear," "Cootie Katie," "Come and get it old lady," "Sucker," "That marker in your mouth, I peed on it," "I'm gonna blow the roof off this bitch" (said about an upcoming dramatic performance), "Jeez," "What the hell do you want? "Forget your tampons?" "She finally smelled the pathetic on you?" and "I'll be damned."
  • Brad and Kate do some sexual role playing in a bar, culminating in public sex in the restroom (the later is not seen, but heavily suggested).
  • Denver has various tattoos and a Mohawk haircut.
  • Denver grabs his brother Brad and then does various ultimate wrestling moves on him, including hitting him in the chest with the palm of his hand, and then having his legs wrapped around Brad's neck, bending his fingers to cause him some pain. This occurs again later and includes Dallas and his sons joining in on the abuse.
  • One of Dallas' kids is upset and strips down to his underwear and socks, with his mother stating he does that when he gets upset and then goes streaking. The boy then climbs out the window and we see his underwear thrown back inside, but we don't see him again.
  • Howard, Dallas, and Denver have beer up on the roof while watching Brad tried to install a satellite dish. Dallas tells one of his boys to go get them more beer (but we don't see that).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • In two separate scenes, two different babies suddenly projectile vomit onto people (played for laughs).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of overwrought, suspenseful music is played in a comedy scene.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "s" words, 3 slang terms for breasts ("t*ts" and "boob"), 5 damns, 3 asses (2 used with "hole"), 3 hells, 2 craps, 2 S.O.B.s, 4 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "God," "God-awful" and "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Kate shows varying amounts of cleavage in various outfits throughout the film.
  • In what initially appears to be their first meeting, Brad and Kate meet in a bar where she repeatedly rebukes his advances. That includes stating he would be as boring in the bedroom as he is here, and that she wants a man whose hand doesn't shake going up her shirt (there's also talk about them being sexual pen pals, and that they might have been an item back in college). He then tells her, "Bitch, I'm talking to you" and calls her a "dirty slut." They then passionately kiss and we next see them in a public restroom also passionately kissing with her legs wrapped up around his body as they stand against a wall and she rips open part of his shirt. We then see them walking out of the restroom smiling, suggesting that they had public sex. When they return home, we realize that they were just doing some sexual role-playing.
  • A miscellaneous woman shows cleavage.
  • About some acupressure Brad is applying to Kate's foot, and where that connects to other parts of her body, he presses at one point and ask her about what that one does, and she suggestively states they should wait until later.
  • When their flight to Fiji is canceled due to fog, Brad is upset and makes some sort of comment about an airline feeling up another airline.
  • Denver states that he and his brothers are named for the cities in which they were conceived, with Brad's real name being Orlando.
  • Denver's pregnant wife shows a lot of cleavage.
  • One of Dallas' kids is upset and strips down to his underwear and socks, with his mother stating he does that when he gets upset and then goes streaking. The boy then climbs out the window and we see his underwear thrown back inside, but we don't see him again.
  • Howard isn't happy about Brad's Christmas gift to him being a satellite dish, stating that the installer is probably a sex predator who will be touching his underpants.
  • About having an infant, Denver's wife tells Kate that she's lucky if she ever gets her "boob" out of the child's mouth. Kate asked if it hurts, and the woman states at first but then the nipples get tough and now she can't feel anything. She then asks Kate if she wants to flick them, but Kate says no, that she has her own. Later, while in the car with Brad, Kate talks about that earlier nipple discussion, commenting on them being like rubber from breast-feeding.
  • About hugging Brad, Kate's mom says, "Sh*t, that feels good," while Kate's older grandmother eyes Brad somewhat lecherously.
  • Courtney shows a great deal of cleavage in her low-cut top, including when she adjust her breasts after apparently breast-feeding.
  • Kate's mom shows some cleavage.
  • About their Christmas goals, Kate's grandmother states that she could increase the frequency of which she pleasures her old husband with her hand and her mouth. When Brad is then asked to follow her with his goal, he stumbles about a bit and then says that he should "do it" more with Kate, meaning go on vacation with her.
  • About knowing each other, Courtney says her husband knows she slept with the entire water polo team, while she knows that he experimented with men in the past.
  • Kate's mom implies that Kate had a lesbian relationship with a friend in her past.
  • Kate goes through Courtney's baby bag in the bathroom, finds her breast pump, and decides to place it on her own clothed breast. She's shocked by the sudden and strong suction and pulls that away.
  • Referring back to inferences that Kate had a lesbian relationship when she was younger, Brad states that it made her a better kisser for it.
  • About playing Joseph in a church nativity play, Brad asks about whether his character would be cool with God getting Mary pregnant (some viewers might not like the sexual reference).
  • Paula states that Brad breast-fed until the age of five, and then jokes that the only one on her "t*ts" more was a professor after her divorce. We then learn that Brad's former childhood friend is now Paula's husband and this doesn't sit well with Brad who says that Darryl was his friend, is now sleeping with his mom, and that it's weird. Darryl then says he never had a sexual feeling for Paula until the age of 30 and then adds that she is a very sexual being.
  • At Paula's house on Christmas, various couples play a board game where they must give verbal hints for their partner to guess the correct answer. During this, Paula and Darryl take their turn, where it's implied that wax, chocolate, and syrup were dripped on Paula's body by him. Susie and Denver then play with one of the hints being dry humping on the beach (the answer being their screensaver) and another being the only person Susie can cheat with (a famous person). The two then passionately kiss, with Denver putting his hand on her pregnant belly. It's then Brad and Kate's turn, with her giving a hint about when her "stuff" fell out in a bar (referring to her breasts, and thus her nickname at the time being peek-a-boo).
  • When Kate tells Brad that she took a pregnancy test, he asks, "You pulled the goalie?" presumably referring to contraception, but she says she didn't and that she isn't pregnant. Brad then talks about the dangers of procreating.
  • Courtney shows a great deal of cleavage once again in the same outfit as before.
  • SMOKING
  • None, but about the drawbacks of being pregnant, Courtney states one of them is trying to sneak a cigarette while in that state.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that both Brad and Kate's respective parents are divorced. Thus, the two don't want to spend the holidays when any of them, and are disappointed and apprehensive when their flight is canceled and they're forced to do just that. (all played for comedy).
  • When Dallas' young boys want to join in doing various ultimate wrestling moves on Brad, Dallas is a certain he should let them, stating he might lose custody of them again (played as comedy).
  • Howard states that his ex-wife's new boyfriend is a "first-class ass sniffer," and that ex-wife is nothing more "than a common street whore" (for having left him in the past). Brad then reminds his father that Howard stopped talking to her which is why she left.
  • We hear that Kate's dad has been divorced several times.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Both Brad and Kate are happy with remaining unmarried and not having kids. They've been dating for three years and live together.
  • How family get-togethers, especially over the holidays, can lead to tension.
  • VIOLENCE
  • All of the following is played for comedy:
  • Denver grabs his brother Brad and then does various ultimate wrestling moves on him, including hitting him in the chest with the palm of his hand, and then having his legs wrapped around Brad's neck, bending his fingers to cause him some pain.
  • Brad's brothers do more ultimate wrestling moves on him, with Dallas kicking him to the floor and Denver holding him down, while Dallas' young kids join in the fray, with one sitting on Brad's chest and slapping his face, while the other repeatedly kicks him in the legs.
  • As Brad tries to install a satellite dish on his father's roof, he ends up tugging too hard on the dish, with it then pulling away from the roof and him falling down it. The cable inside the house then pulls away from the walls, knocking various things to the floor. Back up top, Brad thinks he's stopped falling, but the rest of the cable gives way, sending him falling into the shrubs, while the cable inside the house pulls the TV across the room and up against the wall and ceiling where it explodes and catches on fire (all played for comedy). Surprised by that latter part, Kate, who's holding an infant, spins around and accidentally whacks that child's head on something (but the child is okay -- also played for comedy).
  • Kate's niece and other kids play keep away from her with her pregnancy test stick in a moon bounce type of backyard attraction. They then pile on top of her, with one boy repeatedly banging her head down to the inflated rubber floor. One then kicks her out of the moon bounce, but she then goes back inside that and starts throwing and flipping various kids around to get that pregnancy test stick.



  • Reviewed November 20, 2008 / Posted November 26, 2008

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