5.4/10
20,097
119 user 83 critic

Surviving Christmas (2004)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 22 October 2004 (USA)
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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 »
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Popularity
1,258 ( 483)
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:

This year, Christmas comes early. Really early. Like... October 22nd. 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:

$3,130,468
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

Filming did not take place in Arlington Heights, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago) because the weather was too cold. See more »

Goofs

On Christmas eve Alicia's hair changes frequently from wavy to curly as the night progresses. It seems to get curlier as it gets later. 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

Referenced in An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Written by J. Fred Coots & Haven Gillespie
Performed by Lou Rawls
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly funny
14 March 2005 | by jpintarSee all my reviews

Surviving Christmas is a surprisingly funny movie especially considering the bad publicity when it was first released. Ben Affleck is funny as an obnoxious millionaire who pays the family that occupies his childhood home to be his family for Christmas. He then drives the family crazy with overindulgence for Christmas cheer. I have not been a Ben Affleck fan in the past (though I did like Daredevil and Paycheck) but here he is well cast in this role. I also like Christina Applegate as the daughter in the family who can't stand Affleck's character at first. Sure you can see where this movie is going but you don't care. Ignore what the critics say and rent this movie out because it is funnier than a lot of Christmas movies.


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