I have to say I was a bit surprised by this movie. It was better than I thought it would be, but I don’t know if that was because I had rather low expectations, or because I saw the trailer for Jim Carrey’s “Yes Man” play before it which made me think even if the projector burned half the film, it would still be better than that. Reese and Vince play a couple distracted so much by having fun that they avoid any type of buzzkill, like marriage, kids, or visiting their four families for the holidays. But due to some inclement weather and a televised inciting incident, they are off to see the families they have avoided for years. At first it sounded interesting as the first scene plays out with the happy couple role playing in a bar. Cool! Shallow, Insecure, sexual deviants forced to visit family. Finally! Wait—oh, no, now we’re in Jennifer Aniston and “Sweet Home Alabama” territory again. So we have wasted potential here, as usual. This movie never becomes funny enough, heartfelt enough, or original enough. It gets close every time Jon Favreau is on screen as a crazy backyard wrestler/UFC fighter but never quite gets there. Unfortunately we get Jennifer Aniston Vince Vaughn, and not “Made” or “Swingers” Vince Vaughn. We also get “Legally Blonde” Reese and not “Election” Reese. So these characters while starting off interesting, get blanded as the movie progresses. It’s like this movie is a stick of gum. A lot of flavor at first, but soon you just want to stick it under your seat when no one is looking and just sulk out of the room quietly. Director Seth Gordon does a pretty good job here, and considering how much I loved his doc “King of Kong” I was happily giving him the benefit of the doubt and when Donkey Kong champ Steve Wiebe was given a little cameo, all the better. This was a by the numbers rom com with a slight effort to appease men who were dragged along. It doesn’t do anything horribly wrong and doesn’t do anything horribly right, either. But it could have, if the handcuffs were taken off its leads. The theme of “no matter how crazy your family is they are the only one you have, and if you take the time, you can discover truth there” is predictable and at times heavy handed, but Jon Favreau lightens them up considerably. Probably because after directing “Iron Man”, no studio executive is going to tell him to “take it down a notch”.