Four Christmases (12A

Seth Gordon (88 mins)
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The Independent Culture

Traditional seasonal comedy about cynics learning the value of Christmas and the importance of family.

Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon play a happy couple who stay that way by avoiding marriage, kids and their dysfunctional families; but lo!, come Christmas they're forced to shuttle between their divorced parents (Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen). A fabulous cast is thrown away on forced gags; still, by the genre's standards the message is interestingly complex and ambivalent – pro-family, naturally, but with such qualifications that you almost feel it's sincere.

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