5.4/10
20,708
119 user 85 critic

Surviving Christmas (2004)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 22 October 2004 (USA)
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ON DISC
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

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 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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Details

Official Sites:

DreamWorks [United States]

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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$11,663,156

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,793,624
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Christmas 2003 release date was pushed back ten months, to avoid competing with another Ben Affleck film, Paycheck (2003). Because of this, there's a 2003 calendar hanging in Brian's bedroom, near the door. 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.
See more »

Connections

Features Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Coming Home
Written by Keith Slettedahl
Performed by The 88
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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