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Surviving Christmas
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Surviving Christmas More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Despite the evil reputation, and Ben Affleck, this is an enjoyable comedy !

Author: ahmed elshikh ( from Egypt
22 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This doesn't deserve neither the poor profits nor the evil reputation (released to DVD 9 weeks after its release !). True Ben Affleck is here but – surprisingly – it's not as bad as in other movies !

The story is simple with funny characters. It achieved a good balance between comedy and having a message. Though, the main problem remains in the script. Some weakness blemished it, especially in the second half with forced love story; between the lead and the family's daughter, making up situations between them through a snow ride that didn't complete, let alone unintelligible reconciliations between all at the end; the husband and wife, the lead and the daughter.

So the climax is brittle to an extent weakens the final effect, but nothing could deny the cuteness of the characters, even if their details were improvised (as Gandolfini said once, critically!). I loved the opening credits with parodying the too happy Christmas's songs, with wicked dark sense that ridiculed as well as lamented our present days. The pace was talented. The situations, if a bit ribald, were comic. In fact there was distinct humor all over it; remember the fake dream that Affleck's character prepared then canceled in the nick of time; lovely cartoonish (in terms of cartoon; all the movie works as a Simpsons episode). And it's enough to say that I liked Affleck in a comedy, well, it's like saying I watched the devil in paradise !

Overall, there was a comedy and a meaning. Both did survive eventually. And if this movie was called names, nominated for Razzies, then watch other Affleck's movies, and other Christmas's ones, to know how clever (Surviving Christmas) is. Then watch real BAD movies, from the same year, that didn't get any nomination for even one Razzie, such as Soul Plane, The Whole Ten Yards, The Ladykillers, Ocean's Twelve, The Village, and Napoleon Dynamite, to know how wronged (Surviving Christmas) is, also !

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Surviving Just Fine, Thank You

Author: mcgee4468 from Southern California
29 October 2004

I went to 'Surviving' after the L.A. Times ran a lengthy column about the downfall of Affleck's career. I've always liked his work and thought I'd help a brother out with my $9. Ben didn't let me down. James Gandolfini was perfectly intimidating. Christina Applegate was perfectly cast and maintained wonderful comedic timing. Though the script suffers an occasional stop-gap in logic, one clearly sees the same energy Affleck has pumped on-screen since his Kevin Smith days. The film has a John Hughes quality, not just because of the Chicago locations. It has the same simple appeal Hughes cashed in on for all his 80's films. Or is it Catherine O'Hara's 'Home Alone' Chicago-appearance? Scrooge Alert! Don't let bitc*y reviewers and post J-Lo nobodies ruin your enjoyment of a nice little film!

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12 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

The first comments were so obviously Affleck employee's

Author: giatime from Los Angeles
23 October 2004

This movie good? 8 out of 10? please more movies like this Ben? Please! Good to see IMDb is that important in the industry that they are now coming here to write phony bi-lines. I actually consider IMDb one of the webs most important sights. But thats another subject. As to this movie; IT SUCKS! Damon is hands down the brains of this duo. I mean, Ripley, Bourne, the guy is awesome. Affleck? Nice guy, but this guy is cardboard. pure and simple cardboard. At some point Hollywood needs to put him and us out of it's misery. I couldn't watch the whole movie. Also Gandolfini, needs to stick to gangster roles, because he also is not an actor just a player, playing his type on screen in every movie.

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A Christmas Classic that gets the heart of Dickens Christmas Carol

Author: serina miller
23 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is all about Christmas! Being so full of joy, those who are lonely get most depressed! Ben captures the emotions of Drew, this nostalgic successful businessman who is always lonely in Christmas, so tries to overcome that by making a business deal and rent a family for the holidays!! This movie is depressing and hilarious at the same time, and it kind of grow on you every time you watch it! Home alone, states the problem, but this here a real home alone guy go search for a family to not be home alone any more! May be this the sequel where Not home alone again!! Lovely movie, every part is detailed and sarcastically funny! And the song at the start of the movie gives you a hint of what are going into!! A real Christmas classic.

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A family Christmas

Author: Prismark10 from United Kingdom
29 December 2016

Ben Affleck is a shallow millionaire ad executive dumped by his girlfriend just before Christmas. So he goes on a quest to revisit his past which means his childhood home and offers to pay the current owners $250,000 so they can pretend to be his family for Christmas.

James Gandolfini is the reluctant father who is also having marital problems with his wife Catherine O'Hara. There is also a little brother and they even rope in a part time actor to play grandpa. Complications ensue when Affleck falls for Christina Applegate, the daughter who later turns up for Christmas with her family and then his ex turns up with her parents which means every one has to keep up the pretence for longer.

It is a weird off beat premise, very silly but in essence the film is a farce but the actors take it all too seriously.

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It wasn't that bad people..

Author: adonis98-743-186503 from Greece
11 December 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A lonely, obnoxious young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him. Surviving Christmas is nowhere near as bad as everyone was saying for years and it's totally nowhere near as bad as a 19/100 which it got in Metacritic and sure some characters are not get developed really well and it's not the greatest Christmas movie ever made but i still enjoyed it mostly because of Ben Affleck i think he was hilarious and James Gandolfini was also really good i also liked the reason why he spend Christmas alone with nobody around him and even tho there could be more emotion in it and and like i said certain characters for example like the son could have been developed much better but still it was pretty funny, dramatic at times and the whole cast did a nice job.

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Guilty Pleasure

Author: mcnuttcarolyn
19 November 2016

This movie is way under-rated in my opinion. It is fun holiday fare. No, it's not Little Women or Miracle on 34th street. It's more along the lines of Home Alone. Ben Affleck is charming and the whole cast is wonderful. If you are looking for a funny holiday movie with a sweet message, it's worth a view. Christina Appelgate, not typically my favorite, is very enjoyable and I always love seeing David Selby (Falcon Crest and Dark Shadows) in anything. The premise hooks you from the beginning, a cad of a guy finds himself alone at Christmas and decides to go back to his boyhood home and rent the family for the holidays in an attempt to woo his girlfriend back. what happens is a lesson about life, love and family with some hilarity along the way.

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buying his future family for Xmas as all hell brakes loose

Author: 2karl- from Ireland
29 January 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

this film come out in 2004 when Ben afleck career seemed to be going down the toilet but this was panned but i saw nothing wrong with this festive film which is fun for the whole family not a classic but its well worth the watch an i enjoyed this with a good cast at 1hr31mins it has some fun moments in it .Ben Affleck his .character is Drew Latham is .A lonely, obnoxious young rich executive millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with James Gandolfini as Tom Valco his wife Catherine O'Hara the lonely Christine Valco but the two get a makeover of sorts to sort out each other and his new sister and brother Christina Applegate ... ... Christine Valco Josh Zuckerman ... Brian Valco so when drew decides to find himself a friend for Xmas but he decides with all the madness mischief and mayhem to find his old home and bury the ghost of his past a decides when he get there to rent himself a family just so his girlfriend see he has one as he hates being alone the val cos have to decide on a offer and a script to play along with with the annoying new member his outrageous diva demands turns there holidays into a nightmare scenario in this slapstick comedy that really makes any dysfunctional family look good watch out for there hilarious grandparents so with snow a dysfunctional family to the rescue drew kinda saves this family in around bout way but his old girlfriend find this arraignment's believable but its not the answer but drew is excited in this warm funny film for Xmas better than expected 6/10

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Can This Cast Survive This?

Author: Python Hyena from Canada
25 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Surviving Christmas (2004): Dir: Mike Mitchell / Cast: Ben Affleck, James Gandolfini, Catherine O'Hara, Christina Applegate, Josh Zuckerman: Standard Christmas comedy about family. Ben Affleck wishes to rekindle childhood memories but another family now lives in his childhood home so he pays the family to represent his family and reprise old memories. Good idea but structured like a sitcom with sets to match. Directed by Mike Mitchell whose best element is the character development, which is surprisingly good. Affleck is surprisingly funny as he attempts to reprise old memories and driving this family up the wall in the process. James Gandolfini steals the film as his hired father who grows rapidly impatient with the whole ordeal. Catherine O'Hara is terrific as his hired mother in a role that is perfect for her comic talent. Their marriage is in trouble so Affleck makes her an offer that lands her in hot water. The only real weak character is the daughter, played by Christina Applegate whom Affleck will fall for. Since he doesn't have a sister, she will be placed as the maid. Applegate has great comic potential but her role here is too obvious. Josh Zuckerman plays Applegate's brother who will get lured into the predictable charade. The film's purpose is to celebrate family and surviving each other long enough to remember what it is all about. Score: 5 ½ / 10

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Somehow Gandolfini and O'Hara rise above the muck that is this movie

Author: Gideon24 from United States
12 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Surviving Christmas is a lame and offensive comedy that suffers from a silly and unbelievable story and a really obnoxious lead character.

This 2004 comedy stars Ben Affleck as Drew Latham, a young and extremely wealthy businessman who, after being dumped by his fiancée, travels to his hometown where he plans to spend Christmas. He goes to the actual house he grew up in and offers to pay the family currently residing there a stupid amount of money to allow him to move into his old bedroom for Christmas and for this family to actually pretend to be HIS family for the holidays. We watch as Drew butts head with the family patriarch (James Gandolfini), brings Mom (Catherine O'Hara) out of the shell she didn't even realize she was in, and begin a very rocky romance with the daughter (Christina Applegate) home from college who is adamantly against this whole arrangement.

This film grates on the nerves from jump, primarily because the leading character has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. We see the way he runs his business and the way he throws money at anything that doesn't go his way and you just want to punch the guy in the face. Affleck's performance doesn't help matters, which can best be described as uneven.

What the film does have going for it is a pair of first rate performances from Gandolfini and O'Hara as Tom and Christine Valco, the couple who agree to this charade despite the effects it has on their holiday season and their marriage. Gandolfini's dry and understated delivery is a perfect compliment to Affleck's scenery chewing and almost makes the proceedings bearable...almost. Strictly for hardcore fans of the late James Gandolfini.

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