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Surviving Christmas (2004)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 22 October 2004 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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



(story), (story) | 4 more credits »
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Freeman
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


This year, Christmas comes early. Really early. Like... October 22nd. 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  »


Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,441,356, 24 October 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Wight, who was Ben Affleck's stand-in , wrote a devastating depiction of what the filming was like in his book "Dreams that Die: Misadventures in Hollywood". 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.
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Featured in Bad Movie Beatdown: Deck the Halls (2012) See more »


Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Written by J. Fred Coots & Haven Gillespie
Performed by Lou Rawls
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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User Reviews

Not the usual formula
3 July 2005 | by 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.

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