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Vaughn Formula for Four Christmases

Published November 25, 2008 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros
Four Christmases PosterFour Christmases
Vince Vaughn's unique style of comedy has become so reliable, you can really apply it to any situation. I hate to call it a formula because of the negative connotations, but it is a brand that can let loose on weddings, breakups, siblings and now families.

Review: Four Christmases


Four Christmases starts out with an awesome couple. They play some stereotypes, including the anti-marriage bits, but they're so good together. They are two people on the same page, something that actually does matter in relationships. Some of the post-game analysis is pure Vince Vaughn, but they both seem like real people, not "types." The other characters are the types they have to deal with.

Reese Witherspoon fits brilliantly into Vaughn's world. He brings his A game with random yet detailed tangents for each high concept situation, but she fuels his fire, and he hers. It's different from her romantic comedy persona, but that is in turn different from any number of dramatic personas she can embody. It just really makes you appreciate how good she is to enter a clearly defined world and rock it, and how good he is to help everyone else shine in his world.



The film tightly bangs out its story. Bang, the premise. Bang, family number one. Bang, family number two. Bang, bang. One involves more pratfalls, another involves situational comedy, another is all about timing and word play. The third is my favorite. It is also the shortest, perhaps its brevity highlighting the tight timing.

Of course there is a heart to the film and it hits certain beats. It may be predictable, but you buy it. It's certainly not silly. This couple does have something to deal with, so it should absolutely come out amid ridiculous comic situations.

I hope I meet a girl who can keep up with me like Reese Witherspoon. Not a blonde though. Sorry, not my type. Guess I'll have to keep dating strippers until I find the one.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros
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