An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.
Sarah Jessica Parker,
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 and Missy breaks up with him in the process, a self-therapy session leads Drew to decide to relive his best childhood Christmases. With his loved ones long-gone, he decides to rent a family: the Valcos, the current owners of his childhood home in suburban Chicago. Tom Valco wants nothing to do with Drew until an exorbitant amount of money is involved; they draw up a contract which expires at the end of Christmas night. What Drew doesn't (or refuses to) realize is that the Valcos are having their own problems, which his presence exacerbates. Can the Valcos endure their unexpected guest? If they can, will the money solve their problems? Meanwhile, will Drew come to realize what he wants in life and how to achieve it?Written by
The production was shot without a completed script. As a result, there were many delays and arguments over what to shoot. James Gandolfini admitted, in a behind the scenes interview, that most of the film was "improvised". See more »
There are no mountain ranges, such as the one depicted, within hundreds of miles of Chicago. However, it's possible that Drew, with his resources, "whisked" the family away to Colorado for the day. See more »
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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The cast of Surviving Christmas is a sort of hodge-podge of actors/actresses. I could not have imagined ever casting them together, but it works well in the movie. It is better than the average feel-good Christmas movie, but not destined to be a classic. The comedy is well dispursed throughout, and the movie moved along at a good pace. I have seen plenty of holiday movies, but never imagined one with Ben Affleck. As a matter of fact, this is the first time I have seen an Affleck movie. (I have shunned them on purpose in the past - Well, OK, I did like Dazed and Confused). The movie, however, is entertaining, and only a few jokes fall flat. 7 out of 10 on the holiday scale.
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