This doesn't deserve neither the poor profits nor the evil reputation (released to DVD 9 weeks after its release !). True Ben Affleck is here but – surprisingly – it's not as bad as in other movies !
The story is simple with funny characters. It achieved a good balance between comedy and having a message. Though, the main problem remains in the script. Some weakness blemished it, especially in the second half with forced love story; between the lead and the family's daughter, making up situations between them through a snow ride that didn't complete, let alone unintelligible reconciliations between all at the end; the husband and wife, the lead and the daughter.
So the climax is brittle to an extent weakens the final effect, but nothing could deny the cuteness of the characters, even if their details were improvised (as Gandolfini said once, critically!). I loved the opening credits with parodying the too happy Christmas's songs, with wicked dark sense that ridiculed as well as lamented our present days. The pace was talented. The situations, if a bit ribald, were comic. In fact there was distinct humor all over it; remember the fake dream that Affleck's character prepared then canceled in the nick of time; lovely cartoonish (in terms of cartoon; all the movie works as a Simpsons episode). And it's enough to say that I liked Affleck in a comedy, well, it's like saying I watched the devil in paradise !
Overall, there was a comedy and a meaning. Both did survive eventually. And if this movie was called names, nominated for Razzies, then watch other Affleck's movies, and other Christmas's ones, to know how clever (Surviving Christmas) is. Then watch real BAD movies, from the same year, that didn't get any nomination for even one Razzie, such as Soul Plane, The Whole Ten Yards, The Ladykillers, Ocean's Twelve, The Village, and Napoleon Dynamite, to know how wronged (Surviving Christmas) is, also !
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