5.3/10
19,019
115 user 82 critic

Surviving Christmas (2004)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 22 October 2004 (USA)
A lonely, obnoxious young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,058 ( 824)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Heinrich
...
...
...
Dr. Freeman
...
...
Kathryn
John 'B.J.' Bryant ...
Cabbie (as John BJ Bryant)
...
Suit
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Share the warmth See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sobrevivendo ao Natal  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$11,663,156

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,130,468
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

James Gandolfini was only ten years older than Christina Applegate, who played his daughter in this film. See more »

Goofs

At 1.14 in, when Missy is outside in the car talking to Drew on the phone, the bracelet is clearly on her right wrist. Once inside the house the bracelet is now on her left wrist and stays there for the duration of the movie. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Featured in Bad Movie Beatdown: Deck the Halls (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Holidays (Beef Wellington Remix)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Bing Crosby
Original recording licensed from Star Line Productions
Courtesy of Six Degrees Records
Under license from Rock River Communications
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Subvert that genre!

Surviving Christmas

A ridiculous and perverse premise has somehow made its way onto cinema screens this Christmas. Just like Christmas With The Kranks and The Polar Express, Surviving Christmas winds towards a festive moral that aims to fill the audience with yuletide cheer. The execution of said moral in this particular seasonal release is highly questionnaire but unmistakably funny.

Surviving Christmas has been slammed by the critics remorselessly. Nobody seems to have liked this twisted retelling of the story of Scrooge, and I believe I have found the answer: nobody likes Ben Affleck.

Affleck plays a rich ad executive who pays a dysfunctional family to take him in and make Christmas just how it was when he was a child. This seriously strange idea could, in the right hands, been a gross out smash hit in the Farrely brothers style. Instead, Mike Mitchell decides to take the whole thing a little too seriously and what results is a comedy that is uncomfortable with itself. As a result the actors are left unsure whether to play their characters straight or exaggerated. This can be all be blamed on the script, or lack thereof. Filming took place without a finished draft, and thus, parts of the film were improvised and unfunny material remains in the final cut.

Nevertheless, there are many positive attributes to this genre subverting film. James Gandolfini is very entertaining as the constantly resentful Tom Valco whose only vice, in true Christmas spirit, is money.

Ben Affleck style in comedic roles is disliked by many, but his specific brand of humour is allowed to thrive in this unnatural plot and situation driven comedy. The character of the son (Josh Zuckerman) is underdeveloped, as is the family's relationship with its neighbours, but again the unfinished script can be held accountable.

Surviving Christmas is by no means a great film, but it is certainly not as bad as it has been labelled. Unfortunately, most won't get a chance to decide for themselves until this film is released on DVD as it was grossly under marketed in the UK. An offbeat comedy and a genuine step forward for the Scrooge remakes that when given the chance to shine in its own right, works quite well.


39 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 115 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Best of 2017: Our Favorite Movie and TV Stills

Take a look at our favorite movie and TV stills from the past year. Spot any of your faves?

Browse the Best of 2017