A wise friend of mine once said, "Your parents always know how to push your buttons because they installed them."
That would have been a good movie. A movie about how obligatory holiday visits become the perfect opportunity for parents to express their ongoing disappointment in their children, and for their adult children to revive decades-old resentments against their parents. It doesn't sound funny, but of course it would be.
'Four Christmases' started off being that movie, but somewhere between the satellite dish incident and the nativity play, it went off the rails. It stopped being about families and became all about a couple coping with commitment issues. Which also could have been funny, but really wasn't.
The two lead actors were terrific, and their relationship was unusual but utterly believable. Unfortunately, their chemistry just couldn't overcome the fractured writing. I give it a disappointed two stars out of five.
(and of course, Murray thought it was terrific.)