First Hit: Somewhere in the concept of people having parents and step parents and dealing with Christmas there is a good film; this one isn’t it.
Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn play Kate and Brad respectively. They are a couple who think they’ve got it all together with no commitments, lots of fun dates, and doing all the cool things. There is nothing there on the screen that told me they weren’t acting parts.
The chemistry, their personalities didn’t mesh and I couldn’t see them as a couple. They don’t like being around their families, so their “cool thing” at Christmas is to jet off to some foreign spot, have fun, while telling lies to their parents and step parents that they are off dong some humanitarian gig for Christmas.
This year they get caught and decide to visit their four families. The only one that had any sort of realistic sense to it was the at Kate’s father’s house. It is here you get some decent acting by these scenes and John Voight. At the previous three family visits the situations are set up to create mayhem and comic riffs.
I’m shocked that Sissy Spacek, Robert Duvall, and Mary Steenburgen would have signed up for these roles. It makes them look stupid and I can guess that they may be embarrassed by being in this end product. This kind of film does fit Vaughn’s style but the writing doesn’t allow him to grow or do much real stuff.
Overall: The concept was great and perhaps Reese with someone else as the male lead and filmed as a drama and some decent writing there is a really good film. This slapstick view of the premise is a waste.