A lonely, obnoxious young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him.

Director:

Mike Mitchell

Writers:

Deborah Kaplan (story), Harry Elfont (story) | 4 more credits »
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Affleck ... Drew Latham
James Gandolfini ... Tom Valco
Christina Applegate ... Alicia Valco
Catherine O'Hara ... Christine Valco
Josh Zuckerman ... Brian Valco
Bill Macy ... Doo-Dah
Jennifer Morrison ... Missy Vangilder
Udo Kier ... Heinrich
David Selby ... Horace Vangilder
Stephanie Faracy ... Letitia Vangilder
Stephen Root ... Dr. Freeman
Sy Richardson ... Doo-Dah Understudy
Tangie Ambrose ... Kathryn
John 'B.J.' Bryant John 'B.J.' Bryant ... Cabbie (as John BJ Bryant)
Peter Jason ... Suit
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Storyline

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 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While this film was in production in early 2003, "Daredevil" was just released that also starred Ben Affleck and his future wife, Jennifer Garner. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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.
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Soundtracks

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Written by Ralph Blane & Hugh Martin
Performed by Judy Garland
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

Give it a watch. Critics be damned
6 February 2007 | by philwhoSee all my reviews

Ultimately this movie will never topple other Christmas classics as It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story or even Scrooged but I think it is one of the funniest, most entertaining Christmas movies out there. What is known about this movie is that it had no script when production began, it was shelved for a year and that it was one of quickest theatre to DVD turnovers ever. What seems to be mostly unknown is that it is, in addition to all of that, really very funny. Affleck has a certain charm. Many critics and audiences dislike him for a reason I can't really understand. I feel his choices undermine his talent. Forces of Nature is not good, plain and simple. There are many questionable choices on his resume and this may be why most dismiss his abilities. I will say that Glory Daze, Chasing Amy, Good Will Hunting and Changing Lanes show he has got some talent, not a lot, but some. What Surviving Christmas provides us with is an obviously over the top, "hammy" performance. There is nothing in this performance that says that he is trying for nuance, what he is doing is being goofy. The plot is a guy going back to his childhood home to relive Christmas he never had. This would, and should bring out the kid in anyone. I am a goofball when it comes to Christmas. Affleck is hamming it up the whole time with big toothy grins and throwaway one liners that make me laugh EVERY TIME I see this movie. I watched it twice today in fact. It is one of mine and my coworkers favorite holiday movies. The trailers were weak, the plot is laughable and the ending gets a bit overwrought thus making it difficult to get anyone to see it but it's been my experience that once someone DOES see this movie they like it. I work at a video store and I play it often and every time I play it, while it is on the screens, someone asks if they can rent it as they had been watching it, caught a funny bit and wanted to see more. They are shocked to find it is a Christmas movie, with Ben Affleck and it is funny.

Those who watch it will not be disappointed.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

22 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Surviving Christmas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,441,356, 24 October 2004

Gross USA:

$11,663,156

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,125,687
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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