It's the Christmas season. 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 with Missy breaking up with him in the process, Drew, in going through some self-therapy, decides what he really needs is to relive the memorable Christmases from his childhood, which includes spending time with his parents and younger brother. As that is not possible, he decides to rent a family, namely ones he's never met before, the Valcos - husband and wife Tom and Christine and their teenaged son Brian - who now live in Drew's childhood home in suburban Chicago. Tom initially wants nothing to do with Drew until an exorbitant sum of money is involved, all written in a contract which expires at the end of Christmas day. What Drew is initially unaware of, or what he chooses to remain ignorant about, is that the Valcos are going ...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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I had some reservations about this movie, I figured it would be the usual bill of fare --- a formula movie about Christmas. Being in the middle of a heat wave in late June, we decided to give it a shot anyway, maybe we would see some snow.
This movie turned out to be one laugh after another. Ben Affleck was believable in his character, but the real star of this one is James Gandofini. He delivered his lines with a real wit about him and made a great "dad".
If you want to have an enjoyable couple of hours, definitely check this one out.
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