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Surviving Christmas (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  22 October 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 16,048 users   Metascore: 19/100
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A lonely, obnoxious young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him.



(story), (story), 4 more credits »
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Title: Surviving Christmas (2004)

Surviving Christmas (2004) on IMDb 5.3/10

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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


Share the warmth See more »


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
See  »

Did You Know?


Filming did not take place in Arlington Heights, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago) because the weather was too cold. See more »


On Christmas eve Alicia's hair changes frequently from wavy to curly as the night progresses. It seems to get curlier as it gets later. 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 An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder (2006) See more »


Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Written by Ralph Blane & Hugh Martin
Performed by Judy Garland
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprised and Sore
23 October 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I laughed so hard during this movie my face hurt. Ben Affleck was hilarious and reminded me of a pretty boy Jack Black in this role. Gandolfini gives his typical A performance. The entire cast is funny, the story pretty good and the comic moments awesome. I went into this movie not expecting much so perhaps that is why I was so surprised to come out of the flick thoroughly pleased and facially exhausted. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys comedy, can identify with loneliness during the holidays and/or putting up with the relatives. The best part to this film (to me anyway) were the subtle bits of humor that caught me completely off guard and had me laughing long after the rest of the audience had stopped. Namely, the scene involving the lighting of the Christmas tree. Go see it and have a good laugh!

54 of 83 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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