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Surviving Christmas More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

James Great Ben Bad

Author: keana14 from United Kingdom
23 March 2006

The only good thing about this movie was James Gandolfini Ben Affleck was Horrible as usual. Most of his performances are horrible right after Good Will Hunting which his acting was bad also.I mean he's making bad movie after bad movie after bad movie after i mean whats the point of acting if your not good.Pearl Harbor the only good thing was Cuba Gooding Jr and KateBeckinsale. What's the point of his acting i'm tired of seeing him. The only persons that could Tolerate his performances are Matt Damon (barely) and Jennifer Garner(because she has to).Another bad Affleck movie and why his brother isn't the star and being talked about.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pre-Christmas Farce, or To PR With You

Author: Alex Koptsev ( from Russian Federation
4 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Now I think I know what Armageddon to come would be. In reality and full color. Pale horses and pathetic executions are out of time. Everything would be different. There will appear PR people in Santa clothes. They will come to find out our most sacred wishes. Green glass marbles. Toy railroad. A letter from the loved one. Everything, absolutely everything will become the object of their interest and concern.

Each consumer would become the owner of his/her personally adapted breaks for commercials. One would get exactly what one needs. In a nice licensed package, with friendly interface and all that. I would come more water-proof, comfortable and straight from natural ingredients. More calcium, cheap singers and democracy. All checks paid and signed. It's just one's soul, like the chagrin skin, will wither and be lost forever.

I realize I am a lousy Cassandra man here. Sorry, got too emotional. It's just that I watched 'Surviving Christmas 'and gone too soft. What was going to be a light comedy turned out to be a problem movie with some elements of grotesque and hard satire. With Affleck starring, into the bargain.

I mean, it all starts perfectly Hollywoodish. Drew Lutham (in advertising) is a real Woozle and Wizzle who gives up his family life for the sake of career. He forgot that one should celebrate Christmas with his happy relatives around, not somewhere in Fiji. But Drew is a PR man, he thinks there are no more family ties, and homely holidays are a silly tradition only to be found in commercials.

Well, he had to find out the truth the hard way. He got a quarrel with his beloved one and was all by himself. And here he gets this basic, central idea: 'I have to return to my childhood. I could buy everything, wholesale prices. New York tree, a sweater with deers, Christmas carols, a bunch of relatives. No money to spare on this.'

Our hero is about to enter his home. There's a new family living there, but who cares? It's not the money, it's the amount of it that matters. You can buy anything. Just fix the price. Here I thought, 'A-ha, now we are about to meet some real miserable guys. Wild and boorish. Time to get up and go home, to write this review.'

Strange, but the Walcos turned out to be of a different kind, losing it, on the verge of divorce, but quite normal people, at that. The head of the family (James Gandolfini) looks like an overgrown gnome, gloomy and unsociable. But he can be sincere, not hiding behind a plastic smile. He speaks the truth out…but he can be bought, too. His loyalty cost a quarter of a million dollars.

To get that money, the Walcos are ready not only to adopt the main character, but also to take part in an absurd role-game. The goal of the game is to bring back to Drew his childhood memories. For some thousands more, they are willing to put their own son into some barn, and to accept an elderly actor in his place. The actor plays the role of the long-deceased grandpa.

Drew is the genius seducer. His main ability is to turn a person outside out to discover his secret desires. But don't take our hero for devil-in-the-flesh. Rather, he's the victim of the system. He's quite sincere about making his 'new' parents happy, but his actions lead to a nightmare. Childhood memories become a kitschy sketch, and mother Walco becomes a porno star, playing in mature amateur porno films. Don't forget about Misty, Drew's beloved. All of a sudden, she decided to reconcile it and celebrate Christmas with Drew. How will this crazy play end?

It's easier to climb up a tree than climb down it. Mike Mitchell, as sure of himself as any amateur, started this Christmas farce. Gloomy jokes and gags 'on the verge.' But there is no finale. Film shooting started with the scenario unfinished. One can feel it. Beautiful beginning and *** ending (fill in the missing word(s) after you have seen the movie.)

Mitchell has managed to make laughing-stock of our most cherished feelings. Who wouldn't want to return to his/her childhood and to hide there from problems of grown-ups? But Mitchell did not have balls enough for an adequate coda. Mocking at Christmas is like signing one's own death penalty. More so, when in Hollywood (though everything changes – remember Bad Santa?) Anyway, respect, respect and more respect… My praises to the actors. Affleck, whom I used to take for a glamour boy, turned out to be an amusing guy. He knows how to play the fool and to pretend being an idiot. Very good is James Gandolfini. After The Soprano Clan he knows how to look absolutely angry. Shivers down one's spine.

I enjoyed the jokes, albeit rather gloomy sometimes. Like the grandma putting her head inside the oven or the ever-adaptive Walcos who change their mood depending on the fees. Finally, we got a film where you jump and laugh exactly when they tell you to. Go see the movie. It is worth watching, at least the first part of it. Especially if you are in PR business. And try to understand the film director. What Christmas without a happy-end? They do not suffer from hang-overs in America, do they?

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Predictable, but good fun. (SPOILER)

Author: jjq224 from VA Beach, VA
23 October 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

O.k., so Affleck over-acts a bit in the movie. This is at least balanced by the performances of Gandolfini, O'Hara and Applegate. If one can put Oscar material out of your head and see the movie for what it is – just a simple, funny, feel-good, leave your brain at the door, holiday movie. Is it sappy at times? Absolutely. Is it slow at times. A little. But not once did I look at my watch to see when it was going to be over. Go see it. For what its worth, I give it a 7.5 out of 10 (only because Affleck was a little too goofy at times – I was hurting watching him put too much effort into it).

*** SPOILER ***

Plus, if you don't laugh at Doo-Dah when he sees Christine (O'Hara) on the computer after her photo shoot, then you have no sense of humor.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Worst and most contrived unChristmassy film ever

Author: Sarsman
8 December 2013

This film is truly awful, every cliché piled on and done to death. Some films make you feel excited about Christmas, this film makes people feel awful. If you don't have a big family Christmas then you must be an awful person. If you don't have family for whatever reason then you have no worth, and don't deserve any respect according to this film. It makes people feel lower, more depressed and I wouldn't be surprised if it contributes to the suicide rate every year! The acting is atrocious, the storyline predictable, contrived and tripe. Its a shame that fine actors have this on the regime. I can only believe they were desperate for money or something to do. It's truly an offensive film, and should never be aired again. Avoid unless you want to feel miserable, and worth less if you don't have a big family Christmas. No funny moments. You genuinely want to punch Ben Affleck in the face, he is such an annoying imbecile. Too moralistic.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Surviving Surviving Christmas.

Author: ArT_of_InSaNiTy from United Kingdom
3 December 2013

Twas the beginning of December; the cold air cuts through the walls and as Christmas slowly but surely makes it's presence felt, SKY customers sit back as the seemingly never ending "joy" of Xmas is unleashed upon the world. And on this day "Surviving Christmas" projected from the screens in an attempt to make people feel merry. :) seasonal sarcasm aside, i have no qualms in stating my disinterest when Christmas comes calling. For me all it is, is an excuse for money to be thrown around. And films are of course a necessary evil when it comes to the holiday season. And my scrooge like bias aside, i have seen a lot of Christmas films, but this.....well this is diabolical. Harsh? No...not by a long shot. Apart from James Gandolfini everything else is just plain awful. Ben Affleck was dire. The Story (which had potential) was so far fetched and so full of...well you know..that it was at points unwatchable. And i know it was out 9 years ago and Affleck has since blossomed and hit his prime as an actor("Runner, Runner" aside)and as a director, but his performance in this is amongst the worst i have ever seen. Everyone is annoying and all this film did was put the final nail in my Christmas coffin.

They could make a film where (In the trailer man's voice....) "6 film.....on repeat.....will they survive.....survive surviving Christmas" Chaos could ensue as everyone goes insane due to the horrific film. Could have murder, suicides, a satanic Santa Claus.....MAKE IT!!!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

one of the funniest Christmas movies I've seen

Author: dude32446 from United States
24 December 2005

This movie was hilarious. I had pretty good expectations from seeing the cast and wasn't disappointed, the humor although sometimes predictable was great. The movie is about a rich bachelor who is sort of dumped a few days before Christmas, and mistaken for a pyro is clobbered on the head at his childhood home where he went to get rid of loneliness. After being taken in he offers the offbeat family a great amount of money to play as his family. As cliché as that sounds it was a great spin on the movie as the film unwrapped. The actors did a great job and were pretty believable. I recommend this to anyone who has some time to kill and would like a good laugh. It does have some sexual dialog so however you are with younger children, not to much though.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A tale about Christmas and loneliness

Author: gazineo-1 from Brasilia, Brazil
13 December 2004

Simple, but sweet and charming little comedy about a neurotic and lonesome multi millionaire (Affleck) that pays U$250.000,00 for a family just to be his faked own family during the Christmas period. The characther played by Affleck is a bit too unreal, far fetched and dull; but the mainline of the movie - the loneliness x Christmas feeling, money x real happiness and solitude x friendship, - is always a compelling one and even the flaws of this movie is not enough to destroy its message. Although some weak points, the movie has some strong points, too. In fact, the hired family is a standout: James Gandolfini, as the ruthless father and Catherine O'Hara, as the restrained mother, gave a great performance and are responsible for the good moments of the movie. Here, in Brazil, the movie was released with some bad notices:the movie was a disaster in USA, and was a special bad moment Affleck's even more erratic career. Even though, I tried myself and was not completely disappointed. "Surviving Christmas' is not a great movie or even a great comedy. But certainly you can relax during its two hours lenght and maybe find in yourself a new reason to think concerning Christmas time: that is good to be in a family, even with problems and that loneliness is a nightmare, even if you have too much money to spare.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Much funnier than expected

Author: MyGoodWish from United States
13 December 2004

Why on earth was this movie released for Halloween. It's a Christmas really is very funny. I usually never truly laugh out loud at comedies but this movie ,especially the first half is really laugh out loud funny. And not just once either.

Ben Affleck can do comedy contrary to what many critics have written.The second half of the movie could have used a little more work but all in all its definitely worth trying. Considering that most of the movies passing for comedies these days are nothing more than filmed juvenile bathroom humour, this was a pleasant break from the Hollywood norm.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Only a Few Lights on the Christmas Tree Work.

Author: tfrizzell from United States
15 November 2004

A lonely corporate bigwig (Ben Affleck) decides to go back to the house from his youth and literally pay the new tenants (who he has never met before) to be his family for the Christmas holidays. The family is headed by James Gandolfini and Catherine O'Hara and children Christina Applegate and Josh Zuckerman. Affleck is so intent on recreating his childhood that he even goes so far as to hire a local community actor (Bill Macy) to play his uncle. Typical inane situations occur with Affleck quickly falling in love with Applegate and finding a really soft spot in his heart for a family that is obvious on the edge (for more reasons than one). Unusual complications also take place with Affleck's girlfriend (Jennifer Morrison) and their strange relationship. Not as bad as many think, but still little more than a sugar-coated candy cane for holiday film lovers. Affleck's character refuses to grow up and he ends up stealing every scene from his fellow co-stars. The other performers are adequate. "Surviving Christmas" has no brains really, but it does have an admirable heart. Does that make it a success? No, but it does make it a fair little time passer. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Surving Gigli -- if you dare

Author: CinemaChang from San Pornando Valley, CA
24 October 2004

Just saw on Extra: Ben "Aflac" promoting his latest flop. Don't be convinced. The only thing missing is J Lo. Borrowing a family as a ruse to win over the affections of a lady? Hmm, a little bit like Jack Tripper (a la Three's Company) but with Christmas wrap.

"Aflac" hasn't had a good role since his cameo (of sorts) in "The Boiler Room". Surviving Christmas's only award will be that of a Razzie early next year.

Although it didn't flop as badly as Gigli, it was pretty close (just under $4M). The only silver lining about this movie is its release date -- since it's still two more months until Christmas, I bet you can buy the DVD as a Christmas present. Just you wait and see!

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