I received news from Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson, the writers of Four Christmases, that their trailer was available online. And though we can’t tell everything from a trailer, this one made me laugh out loud three times in three minutes.  Here it is:


Four Christmases you may recall is a script I cite in Save the Cat! At that time, 2003, while writing Cat! I went through the recent spec script sales and picked a few that “made me jealous” — always a good sign! It’s a clever hook, good title, a mental image that “blooms” in my imagination, and since we are all looking for Christmas perennials, I noted that if I were an executive I would be interested in seeing that screenplay. I also noted, never having read the script, that the story would be “about” a young couple who in the course of their busy day visiting all four of their divorced parents would question their own marriage, and that the film would be served by multiple-aged casting that had found success in movies like Meet The Parents.

And lo!

The film stars Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, features Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek, and will be released Thanksgiving and play through the holidays. 

Congrats to the writers of this high-concept winner (the final credits are Screenplay by Matt Allen & Caleb Wilson and Jon Lucas & Scott Moore, and Story by Matt Allen & Caleb Wilson).  A valuable lesson for all of us trying to craft a story that satisfies.  While “based on” the real life experience of one of the writers, it was only the “springboard” for the demands of a well-executed screenplay.