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Surviving Christmas (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  22 October 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 16,289 users   Metascore: 19/100
Reviews: 109 user | 78 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

A lonely, obnoxious young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him.



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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alicia Valco
Horace Vangilder
Letitia Vangilder
Dr. Freeman
Doo-Dah Understudy
John 'B.J.' Bryant ...
Cabbie (as John BJ Bryant)


It's the Christmas season. Wealthy Chicago ad executive Drew Latham has long avoided the family traditions of Christmas, but has dreaded being alone on the actual day. So when his tropical Christmas vacation with girlfriend Missy Vangilder falls through with Missy breaking up with him in the process, Drew, in going through some self-therapy, decides what he really needs is to relive the memorable Christmases from his childhood, which includes spending time with his parents and younger brother. As that is not possible, he decides to rent a family, namely ones he's never met before, the Valcos - husband and wife Tom and Christine and their teenaged son Brian - who now live in Drew's childhood home in suburban Chicago. Tom initially wants nothing to do with Drew until an exorbitant sum of money is involved, all written in a contract which expires at the end of Christmas day. What Drew is initially unaware of, or what he chooses to remain ignorant about, is that the Valcos are going ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and a brief drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

22 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sobrevivendo ao Natal  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,441,356 (USA) (22 October 2004)


$11,198,345 (USA) (19 November 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original Christmas 2003 release date was pushed back ten months, to avoid competing with another Ben Affleck film, Paycheck (2003). Because of this, there's a 2003 calendar hanging in Brian's bedroom, near the door. See more »


About halfway through the movie Drew and Alicia are sick and they turn on the TV. The song (video) playing was "Cherry Pie" by Warrant. The captions say, "Poison: Cherry Pie". See more »


[first lines]
Drew Latham: Folks, my firm's done a tremendous amount of marketing research and we've discovered two critical things, one; most Americans feel that Christmas is a time for family. Two; most Americans feel that in order to stand being around their family, for even one or two days, they need to swill as much alcohol as humanly possible.
See more »


Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Christmas with the Kranks (2009) See more »


Away in a Manger
Music by William J. Kirkpatrick (uncredited)
Performed by Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia
Conducted by Peter Breiner
Courtesy of Naxos
By Arrangement with Source/Q
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User Reviews

Not the usual formula
3 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had some reservations about this movie, I figured it would be the usual bill of fare --- a formula movie about Christmas. Being in the middle of a heat wave in late June, we decided to give it a shot anyway, maybe we would see some snow.

This movie turned out to be one laugh after another. Ben Affleck was believable in his character, but the real star of this one is James Gandofini. He delivered his lines with a real wit about him and made a great "dad".

If you want to have an enjoyable couple of hours, definitely check this one out.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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