Movie Preview

Four Christmases (2008)

Details Release Date: Nov 26, 2008; Rated: PG-13; Length: 89 Minutes; Genre: Comedy; With: Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon; Distributor: New Line Cinema

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn
Directed by: Seth Gordon
Release date: November 26

For many people, the prospect of sitting through yet another sugarplum-sweet holiday-themed romantic comedy holds about as much appeal as a slice of month-old fruitcake. Four Christmases was made for those people. It's the story of a San Francisco couple (Witherspoon and Vaughn) who, after their Fiji-bound flight is canceled, are forced to spend Christmas with each of their divorced parents — and their dysfunctional extended families.

Vaughn (following up last year's Fred Claus with another yuletide offering) and Witherspoon, whose companies are co-producing the film, recruited Gordon, the director of last year's cult documentary The King of Kong, to take the helm, despite his having never made a major-studio feature before. ''I was a big fan [of Kong],'' Vaughn says. ''I thought it would be exciting to see what he would do with this film.''

For costar Mary Steenburgen, who plays Witherspoon's cougar mother (other heavy-hitting supporting players include Sissy Spacek, Robert Duvall, and Jon Voight), the movie's main appeal is the unlikely chemistry between the two stars. ''There was something about the way their styles worked off each other that was deeply comical,'' she says. ''Just the physicality of tiny Reese next to incredibly tall Vince — it made you laugh instantly when you saw them together.''

Originally posted Oct 31, 2008 Published in issue #1019 Nov 07, 2008 Order article reprints