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Surviving Christmas (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  22 October 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 16,229 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?


Jon Favreau was offered a chance to direct, but made Elf (2003) instead. 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 Tosh.0: Nintendo 64 Kid (2009) See more »


Cherry Pie
Words and Music by Jani Lane
Performed by Warrant
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

A joyful Christmas movie
1 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Its a good thing I rented the movie before seeing the viewer rating from this site. It was a wonderful movie that I will be adding to my Christmas selection. The cast was wonderfully chosen and Ben Affleck plays a good leading role. I would tell viewers who have not seen the movie to go ahead and buy it. I rate it right up there with Christmas vacation. The movie was very funny and well written and Ben plays the eccentric rich executive very well. The things he says and does is just how I would imagine a person with too much money to act. The movie is much funnier than The Santa Claus and Christmas With The Kranks. Plus it has a good story line and teaches the true meaning of Christmas which is you can't buy love with money.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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