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Surviving Christmas
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Surviving Christmas More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

people.........LIGHTEN UP!!!

Author: SamTheMovieMan-1 from United States
9 January 2005

COME ON! I mean sure, Affleck gave one of his worst performances, and the storyline was pretty weird but who cares, it was funny! You just need to loosen up and enjoy the flick, thats what I did when I saw it and I laughed my ass off. So lighten up, go a little easier on Ben, and stop talking like James Gandolfini should just be type cast as a gangster.I give this *** stars out of ****.

Note:Why is that just because Ben did Gigli everyone thinks he's one of the worst actors in Hollywood?Remember the brilliant Changing Lanes?The hilarious Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back?The wonderfully clever Chasing Amy? etc etc

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I enjoyed the movie.

Author: jbalivia from Columbus, Ohio
26 October 2004

People, give this movie a chance! Stop listening to critics or making assumptions until you have seen the film for yourself.

I totally enjoyed this movie. First of all, it is refreshing to see a movie that does not contain the "f" word in every other sentence. I don't recall much profanity at all. Second, there aren't any grotesque scenes; no one get slaughtered. I realize these eliments seem to be what gets a movie to the Oscars now a days. But this is a totally entertaining film. The scenery is beautiful and puts you in the Christmas spirit. And lets face reality folks, this is what a lot of real Christmases are like.

Let's stop criticizing Ben because of J-Lo. He is a great actor and he is still young. He will be around for along time; a lot longer than some of the critics.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Forced holiday comedy *Minor Spoilers*

Author: (rgardner-6) from United States
30 May 2006

Not as bad as you've heard. There are actually some funny parts and Affleck and Applegate have fairly good chemistry. Applegate, in particular, is appealing and likable as Affleck's love interest. James Gandolfini and Catherine O'Hara are consummate professionals. They're pretty good in just about everything. In the end, "Surviving" is not the worst holiday movie you'll ever see.

Unfortunately, it is unfocused and much of the comedy is forced. The attempts at dark humor come off as dour. Affleck tries hard to be endearingly spastic and overenthusiastic but comes across as disturbed. His character's cartoonish nature is brought into high relief when viewed next to Gandolfini and O'Hara's more muted, believable performances. Even by the relaxed standards of holiday movies, you never fully buy into the set-up of Affleck "renting" this family for X-mas.

There are also scenes that border on the surreal in their strangeness. The X-mas eve scene replete with incestuous humor (a son being discovered looking at naked, provocative pictures of his mother) that not only isn't funny or believable but disturbing.

To make matters worse, the colors in this film are muddy, almost noirish. The house set on which most of the movie takes place looks stagey and cheap.

"Surviving" is mostly of interest as the fourth in a string of box office duds (Paycheck, Gigli, Jersey Girl, and this) for Affleck. It remains to be seen how lasting the damage will be.

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5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:


Author: Pookyiscute from Nyiregyhaza, Hungary
15 February 2005

So, I know that I voted 1 out of 10 but really this deserves no more than half of a star. I hated it. It was so stupid and unrealistic, I can't believe any of the stars signed on to make this ridiculously absurd project.

James G. and Cathrine O'Hara were excellent in their characters and Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate were just as good too, but the story sucked and I encourage anyone who sees this in the video store to not even bother picking it up and reading the back cover, but to just walk away...I don't even want to get into what the movie is about, because it is too stupid to pontificate about.

Don't rent this! It's horrible! Horrible!

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6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Trite and predictable

Author: PhlickPhan from United States
28 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

May contain spoilers.

I say that, but anyone savvy enough to be reading this can probably figure out every plot turn right from the start.

This is not a movie that I liked. I didn't hate it in the way of some movies that insult your intelligence, but it all felt too predictable on its trudge to the requisite happy ending. There were funny bits along the way to be sure, but few were original. At least it didn't go for the gutter.

Christina Applegate looks fresh, and Ben Affleck works hard. Their scenes together are actually the only redeeming feature. Everyone else is a cardboard cutout, including, surprisingly, James Gandolfini, who must have made this as a favor to someone.

All in all, it's a harmless, but not inspiring, 90 minutes.

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20 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Not very good...

Author: HIM_dale from Lancashire, England
13 December 2004

I went to see this film at the cinemas and i was shocked when I got in the room. There was only me and my girlfriend! This shouted to me that this film is not very good.

Not to my surprise, the film was dire. Ben Affleck plays a guy who buys a family for Christmas. It is a very predictable narrative with him falling in love with the girl that hates him. His acting is OKish but for the comedy aspect of the film he is not very good. The plot line is poor and the comedy almost non-existent.

However, there are some good points. For example, the family is falling apart and the mother is very funny.

I hope this review stops other people wasting their money. I was very embarrassed when I came out of the room!!!

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Surviving Christmas

Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
27 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I recognised the title, then I spotted both the leading actor, old "Assface" himself (LOL) and how many stars the critics give this film, only one, so it being near Christmas I was willing to give it a go, from director Mike Mitchell (Sky High, Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter). Basically executive Drew Latham (twice Razzie nominated Ben Affleck) is the rich playboy with a lot to be happy with, but living a shallow lifestyle and recently splitting with girlfriend Missy Vanglider (Jennifer Morrison) he faces another Christmas all by himself. Wanting to experience his childhood and have a family Christmas once again he phones many relatives with no success, so he decides to go to the house he grew up in, and meet the new Valco family living in it. Drew offers father/husband Tom (The Sopranos' James Gandolfini) a very high financial reward if he lets him stay in the house and pretend that he is part of their family, along with wife/mother Christine (Home Alone's Catherine O'Hara) and teenage son Brian Valco (Austin Powers in Goldmember's Josh Zuckerman). The overly eccentric millionaire house guest won't give the family a break as he is very annoying with with overactive enthusiasm to celebrate Christmas. Older daughter Alicia (Christina Applegate) comes home, and Drew is very irritated as he never had a sister and it doesn't go with his "script", so he does his best to work around it and pretend she is not there. He also goes to the trouble of hiring a fake granddad with actor Saul, or Doo-Dah (Bill Macy) to Drew, he wants his Christmas to be exactly as he remembers from his past. Slowly Alicia finds herself falling for Drew's lovable attitude to the approaching holiday, but of course his more vibrant personality stop her from giving into any real connection or feelings. Then Drew gets a phone call from Missy saying that she not only agrees to go to Hawaii with him, being tempted by his bracelet he gave her, but he is on her way to the Valco house bringing her parents to the meet the family. So the Valcos do their best to follow Drew's instructions and get on with the visitors, despite an understudy actor as Doo-Dah (Sy Richardson), and Alicia trying to get him caught out. Eventually Drew draws everyone away, and it looks like he is going to be alone after all, but a heart to heart solves everything, and he and the Valcos go to a diner for a friendly Christmas dinner. Also starring Ace Ventura: Pet Detective's Udo Kier as Heinrich, David Selby as Horace Vanglider and Stephanie Faracy as Letitia Vanglider. Affleck is the most irritating rich boy character you could come across with his constant smiling and shouting, Applegate's career time is wasted, and that of Gandolfini's and O'Hara's. The story is ridiculous and all over the place if it tries to patch up, any attempts by supporting actors with their less is more acting doesn't make any difference, and it just isn't the sort of thing that's going to create holiday cheer or laughs, an awful Christmas comedy. It was nominated the Razzies for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay. Poor!

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Screenplay Away From Original

Author: getyourdander from United States
23 December 2007

There is an original story this film is based upon loosely. I say this because the original story has religious themes. The problem with this film is that the writers thought they could lose that theme & still have a script that makes sense. That doesn't happen.

It doesn't help that Ben Afleck heads up the cast. I have yet to see anything in which Ben can add anything too. Maybe some day there will be a script he fits into. This movie proves it hasn't happened yet. There are worse films than this one, but there are also a lot more & better done classic films.

The studio knew this one was such a turkey because they released it prior to Thanksgiving hoping it might do business because of no competition. Unfortunately, the studio was right.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

i have a lot to say about a movie that makes no sense.

Author: foreignrabbit from South Africa
20 December 2006

this movie is a single dimensioned look at an unrealistic American Christmas. it was all so improbable and yet the movie wasn't marketed as a surrealist flick but yet another Christmas movie! i was very disappointed. not that i was expecting anything from yet another Christmas movie. yes it appeals to the masses. but is it not maybe the masses that are allowing the movie industry to rake the holidays with their silly Christmas gimmicks. just a thought. its just that there was nothing original in this movie. it was badly writ and very badly acted. go and watch a fish called Wanda for some real comedy. or the big lebowski. or even the more surreal Brazil or the life aquatic.

one last thing.

movies with big budgets are givin so much freedom that artistic license and character dimensions are put aside and replaced by explosions and chase scenes. if, in a low budget film, you cannot do a sequence due to funds you would find a way around it and that more often than not will make the film. it would give the people involved in making it the power of improvisation.

final word.

lets take carte Blanche back from the big names in the film industry.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not a lonely Christmas this year.

Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
16 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Drew Latham(Ben Affleck)is determined not to be lonely this Christmas. Not only is Drew a millionaire; but also obnoxious and guilty of being very grandiose. Drew goes back to the home he grew up in and offers the family living there, the Valco's, $250,000 to be his "family" through the Christmas season. Tom Valco(James Gandolfini)is reluctant, but is greedy enough to take Drew's offer. Christine Valco(Catherine O'Hara)has little to say in the matter, but learns to like having Drew around...not exactly the same sentiment with daughter Alicia(Christina Applegate), but that too has room for change. Drew's girlfriend Missy(Jennifer Morrison)tracks down Drew and wants her folks to meet his family. Genuine fun is in store as a happy Noel becomes a hilarious dysfunctional nightmare. Other members of the cast: Josh Zuckerman, Bill Macy, David Selby and Stephanie Faracy. Affleck is comedic, albeit strange.

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