Surviving Christmas (2004) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
116 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Not the usual formula
mrc55553 July 2005
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.
18 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Surprisingly funny
Joseph Pintar14 March 2005
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.
26 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I got what I wanted
cg-cgeorge13 March 2008
What would you expect from a film titled 'Surviving Christmas'and presented as 'festive fun', something like Ghandi or English patient? There are lots of things I love about this film, it's funny, it is very well cast and it is superbly written. I came to the film as a Kaplan/Elfort fan but was dubious when I read the plot, it sounded ridiculous. But the film doesn't come across like that because Affleck (as Drew Latham) plays his part perfectly, one minute a child-like adult, the next a mature man who realises he has gained everything in life apart from what he really wants. In fact we see Latham grow up in this film, when he encounters the problems of those he envies and realises that their lives are not so good, he sees that his own lot is not so bad.

This film has fewer weak or dud scenes than many other comedies I have seen. Comedy is so much harder than any other type of drama, it either works or it doesn't and very few comedy writers get it correct every time.I particularly loved the drama scene, where the family take to reading parts written by Latham . The pleasure is in the reaction of Tom Valco (James Gandolfini) and the comments of Brian Valco (Josh Zuckerman). It is the dilemma of the greedy Tom Valco who has to bite his tongue, wear silly hats or sing to the Christmas tree in order to earn the prize money that keeps the film moving along well.

The addition of daughter Alicia (Christina Applegate) into the story brings a delightful romantic angle, and why not in a Christmas film? Of course its corny and contrived; he's rich and handsome, she's beautiful and single, and so inevitably her and Afflect end up falling over together in the snow and finding themselves face to face. Great! One thing I would have liked was more use of festive music to boost the atmosphere but I can't really complain. I got what I wanted.
21 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
What a funny Holiday tale
kai ringler18 February 2008
At first i didn't think that Ben Affleck could really pull off a funny Christmas movie,, boy was i wrong, my daughter invited me to watch this with her and i was not disappointed at all. James Gandolfini was funny,, i really liked Christina Appelagate, and Catherine O' Hara was good too, the storyline is what really sold me,, i mean,, too put up with family,, at the table for people you only hardly see but once or twice a year,, and probably don't get along with anyway,, you really do need as much alcohol as you're system can stand to deal with Christmas,, so i thought that the premise was good there, buying the family with 250000 dollars, was a little on the far fetched side,, but it turned out to work pretty good for me,, cause it was a riot all the way through, it shows the class struggle of the different families. it has lot's of funny moments, including embarrassing stuff on the computer for a teenage boy. all in all i loved this movie and will watch it again next Christmas or sooner if my daughter wants too.
19 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A joyful Christmas movie
jjcaine1 January 2005
Its a good thing I rented the movie before seeing the viewer rating from this site. It was a wonderful movie that I will be adding to my Christmas selection. The cast was wonderfully chosen and Ben Affleck plays a good leading role. I would tell viewers who have not seen the movie to go ahead and buy it. I rate it right up there with Christmas vacation. The movie was very funny and well written and Ben plays the eccentric rich executive very well. The things he says and does is just how I would imagine a person with too much money to act. The movie is much funnier than The Santa Claus and Christmas With The Kranks. Plus it has a good story line and teaches the true meaning of Christmas which is you can't buy love with money.
19 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hilarious! Home run comedy folks!
nyugrd27 October 2004
Don't listen to the critics - this film is truly hilarious and, more to the point, touching.

I am not a real fan of Ben Affleck - I am somewhat ambivalent about hi - but he knocks the comedy ball out of the park in this film. Gandolfini is also excellent, as always.

Is this a holiday classic? Perhaps not, but in the tradition of Bad Santa, this is going to become part of my DVD collection as soon as possible.

Do yourself a favor - go see this truly funny movie! The only downside is your sides will hurt from all the laughs!

Merry Christmas!
51 out of 72 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Subvert that genre!
Surviving Christmas

A ridiculous and perverse premise has somehow made its way onto cinema screens this Christmas. Just like Christmas With The Kranks and The Polar Express, Surviving Christmas winds towards a festive moral that aims to fill the audience with yuletide cheer. The execution of said moral in this particular seasonal release is highly questionnaire but unmistakably funny.

Surviving Christmas has been slammed by the critics remorselessly. Nobody seems to have liked this twisted retelling of the story of Scrooge, and I believe I have found the answer: nobody likes Ben Affleck.

Affleck plays a rich ad executive who pays a dysfunctional family to take him in and make Christmas just how it was when he was a child. This seriously strange idea could, in the right hands, been a gross out smash hit in the Farrely brothers style. Instead, Mike Mitchell decides to take the whole thing a little too seriously and what results is a comedy that is uncomfortable with itself. As a result the actors are left unsure whether to play their characters straight or exaggerated. This can be all be blamed on the script, or lack thereof. Filming took place without a finished draft, and thus, parts of the film were improvised and unfunny material remains in the final cut.

Nevertheless, there are many positive attributes to this genre subverting film. James Gandolfini is very entertaining as the constantly resentful Tom Valco whose only vice, in true Christmas spirit, is money.

Ben Affleck style in comedic roles is disliked by many, but his specific brand of humour is allowed to thrive in this unnatural plot and situation driven comedy. The character of the son (Josh Zuckerman) is underdeveloped, as is the family's relationship with its neighbours, but again the unfinished script can be held accountable.

Surviving Christmas is by no means a great film, but it is certainly not as bad as it has been labelled. Unfortunately, most won't get a chance to decide for themselves until this film is released on DVD as it was grossly under marketed in the UK. An offbeat comedy and a genuine step forward for the Scrooge remakes that when given the chance to shine in its own right, works quite well.
39 out of 54 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Surprised and Sore
flying-monkeys23 October 2004
I laughed so hard during this movie my face hurt. Ben Affleck was hilarious and reminded me of a pretty boy Jack Black in this role. Gandolfini gives his typical A performance. The entire cast is funny, the story pretty good and the comic moments awesome. I went into this movie not expecting much so perhaps that is why I was so surprised to come out of the flick thoroughly pleased and facially exhausted. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys comedy, can identify with loneliness during the holidays and/or putting up with the relatives. The best part to this film (to me anyway) were the subtle bits of humor that caught me completely off guard and had me laughing long after the rest of the audience had stopped. Namely, the scene involving the lighting of the Christmas tree. Go see it and have a good laugh!
63 out of 93 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
rich man rents a family to spend Christmas with
disdressed1229 May 2007
i know it's not Christmas season,but i thought i'd watch this movie anyway.i didn't really have any expectations going in,so imagine my surprise when this turns out to be a watchable's not really very funny,but it has some amusing moments and it's not boring.i guess this was supposed to be a Ben Affleck vehicle,but i thought James Gandolfini and Catherine O'Hara had the more interesting characters and added more to the movie than Affleck did.Affleck does okay here,but he really has less to do than Gandolfini and O'Hara.Christina Applegate has a small role in the movie.this is a movie that satisfies you for 90 minutes,and then is quickly forgotten soon after.for me,"Surviving Christmas" is watchable and a result,i'll give it a 6/10
13 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Give it a watch. Critics be damned
philwho6 February 2007
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.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Way better than I'd heard
on_the_can21 December 2006
When this movie first came out I wanted to see but never did. It left the theaters in a flash, which wasn't surprising considering this was right during the whole Bennifer fiasco. Ben was way too over exposed at the time, and Gigli certainly didn't help matters...I don't think it mattered what Ben Afleck did during that time, the critics would have hated it and the movie goers wouldn't give it a chance...knowing all that I was still determined to give it a chance but never really came across it. It came to DVD in the middle of the summer when I had no interest in a Christmas movie...but finally just saw it on TV and here's what I thought... It was funny! The movie's definitely not perfect...and I would agree that Afleck seems kinda off his stick for a good chunk of the the interest of suspension of disbelief though I'll hearken' that too an exaggerated eccentric millionaire and the fact that he's hit on the head with a shovel near the beginning of the movie. Put aside the likelihood of all this stuff and remember this is a comedy that's not meant to be taken too seriously. All the actors do their part well...and I was glad to see Catherine O'Hara in a big role, I've been a fan since SCTV but she hasn't had many chances to do her thing. O'Hara and Gandolfini make some funny moments just with their expressions, while Affleck makes a fool of himself at almost every turn...which is totally intentional. Christina Appelgate is actually the voice of reason during the whole thing...a far cry from some of her other comedy roles, but she still holds her own as the sharp love interest. The movie has a certain dark, cynical feeling to which I've always liked, dark comedies always seem a little more real...and maybe that's why I took to it. My rating now is only six...but if it's on again next Christmas I'll probably watch it and I'll probably like a little more...than the year after that who knows. It's a shame that an actor's bad press can sink any chance his movie's have for success...there's no Oscar material here but a holiday movie without big family feasts or magic reindeer should have done pretty well in theaters. It's no National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation...but if you like that kinda humor you'll at least find a few chuckles here...and I guarantee it'll grow on you.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not-so-typical, feel good Holiday movie.
lover10122 October 2004
The cast of Surviving Christmas is a sort of hodge-podge of actors/actresses. I could not have imagined ever casting them together, but it works well in the movie. It is better than the average feel-good Christmas movie, but not destined to be a classic. The comedy is well dispursed throughout, and the movie moved along at a good pace. I have seen plenty of holiday movies, but never imagined one with Ben Affleck. As a matter of fact, this is the first time I have seen an Affleck movie. (I have shunned them on purpose in the past - Well, OK, I did like Dazed and Confused). The movie, however, is entertaining, and only a few jokes fall flat. 7 out of 10 on the holiday scale.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not as bad as I heard
dbregenzer5 November 2004
This movie isn't as bad as I heard. It was enjoyable, funny and I love that is revolves around the holiday season. It totally has me in the mood to Christmas shop and listen to holiday music. When this movie comes out on DVD it will take the place of Christmas Vacation in my collection. It will be a movie to watch every year after Thanksgiving to get me in the mood for the best time of the year. I heard that Ben's character was a bit crazy but I think it just adds to the movie and why be so serious all the time. Take it for what is it, a Christmas comedy with a love twist. I enjoyed it. No, it isn't Titanic and it won't make your heart pound with anticipation but it will bring on a laugh or two. So go laugh and have a good time:)
41 out of 67 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fun and funny movie
view_and_review28 May 2008
What's not to like about this movie? Every year you know that you're going to get one or two yule tide movies during Christmas time and most of them are going to be terrible. This movie is definitely a fresh new idea that was pulled off pretty well. A very funny take on a rich young guy paying a family to simulate a real Christmas for him. What is the good of having money like that if you can't do fun things with it. It was a win-win situation. A regular family gets six figures and a rich guy gets to experience Christmas like he imagined. Only if.

Drew Latham (Ben Affleck) was incredibly difficult to deal with and it was just a riot to see the family reluctantly comply with his absurd demands. It was a fun and funny movie.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of my favorite holiday movies
mollymoomoo4 January 2010
Come on people. This movie is better than 4. I can see this happening...wealthy people have done crazier things than this. And it was funny.

I watch a comedy to be entertained, escape from the pressures of the world for a short while, and not to have to take anything too seriously. This movie fully suits that purpose. I judge a movie on its own merits and am not about to compare Surviving Christmas to Blazing Saddles. I watched totally dysfunctional people grow into caring, likable individuals who could easily live down the street from my home. It will remain on my list of "favorite.....must watch for the holiday season". If you just want to have a fun 90 minutes, watch this one.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
actually not half that bad....
Ted Jonsson8 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
For an Affleck movie. When you here the name Ben Affleck you think Gigli which was one of the worst movie that exists but he has done great comedy in example dogma and that is what we see here, his comedy genes. The story is not so complicated: a rich snob who rents a family for Christmas for 250000 dollars to have someone to be with during Christmas, throw in some crazy scenes,characters and Ben who hurts himself in more than one way you got this film du it's really not so bad. I can actually admit that i laughed quite a bit and tough it was a good Christmas movie which can become one of these movies you see a couple of days before Christmas like: Home alone, Elf, Christmas vacation. So i say give it a shot it may surprise you. Sure surprised me big time.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Totally underrated Christmas flick ! Entertaining at best.
Cinema_Love23 November 2010
I will start this review by saying this: Don't read the other comments ! Sure this film isn't Christmas Vacation or Home Alone, no it's not in this category ! But if you compared to Four Christmases, Christmas with the Kranks or Fred Clause, this is about the same quality level, you have to watch this movie with your brain at off, it's entertaining and the actors do their role very well, in fact, the acting is pretty strong and the jokes are almost (all) funny ! So forget what you read if you haven't seen, it's a good Christmas movie. I understand why actors like to do this movie, they never forget that they were childs one day and it's truly fun to watch them in this kind of movie. And Christmas is very soon, i watch this movie every year since i buy it in 2005 and i don't regret my choice !
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Surviving Affleck
dunmore_ego29 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
There is one great moment in *Surviving Christmas* that almost makes it worth the pain: James Gandolfini cracks a shovel over Ben Affleck's stupid head.

This movie serves as yet another unfortunate example of James Gandolfini proving what a great actor he is whilst simultaneously besmirching his career by acting in this film.

Young and wealthy ad exec, Drew Latham (Ben Affleck) has been inculcated into believing that one must never be alone on Christmas. (And there, from the outset, is the underlying problem with our suspension of disbelief in this idiotic movie: how many people of Drew's social standing, in 2004, truly care one way or another whether Christmas is spent alone or with half the family or with a fifty-dollar prostitute?) Storyline finds Drew buying off a family to spend Christmas with, on the condition that they pretend to be his own, insensately ignoring all the indications to the contrary that his money has not bought the emotions he was seeking.

For $250,000, a surly suburban truck driver, Tom Valco (James Gandolfini), and his disheveled wife, Christine (Catherine O'Hara), agree to be Drew's ad hoc family, against protests from their son, Brian (a very one-dimensional Josh Zuckerman) and daughter, Alicia (a very soft-focused Christina Applegate). Drew then spends the rest of the movie supposedly recapturing his youth or - something. The messages in this movie are as twisted and illogical as its dry-mouthed storyline. Fraught with overt psychoses, Drew plasters a fake smile on his face and blindly remains in denial against every denigration that he was supposedly buying the Valco family to avoid.

Which begs the question: If Drew is paying these people to recapture some semblance of joyous familial emotion, how psychotic must he be to pretend happiness amongst their barbs and mental anguish over his presence? It is not a case of the Valco family hiding their true feelings and pretending to be happy while around Drew - three of the four members make it patently clear they despise him. Is he so incognizant that he cannot see that his money is not buying him the "family" atmosphere he was inculcated into believing was a truth in the first place? As with all movies this opprobrious, one wonders how *four* screenwriters could possibly get so tangled in their own narcissistic dreams of appearing in a credits sequence that they will overlook any semblance of plausibility, or intelligence.

Director Mike Mitchell, who was responsible for *Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo* - stop right there. 'Nuff said.

Gandolfini and O'Hara somehow manage to shine, proving their mettle amongst this mess. Christina Applegate is willowy and cutesy and blond and fiery in all the right places, scathingly cutting Drew into little strips of carcass for most of the movie, then doing an about-face and falling in love with him because the script tells her to.

And I wouldn't go so far as to say that Affleck is a bad actor, but John Schneider better look over his shoulder. There's a whole new level of Desperately Seeking Talent in town.
15 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
unimportant22 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I get the feeling that those involved in making "Surviving Christmas" didn't put much thought into the movie. The characters are so inconsistent and the plot makes so little sense that the movie played like a rough draft of a script thrown together with little but the one-liner concept of a rich guy paying a family to let him spend Christmas with them.

Ben Affleck portrays Drew Latham, the typical Hollywood image of a wealthy, egotistical advertising executive who buys his way through life. His girlfriend, Missy, leaves him shortly before Christmas because she's disgusted that Drew wanted to take her to Fiji for Christmas, which she calls "the family holiday," and the fact that Drew has never introduced her to his family. We later find out that Drew's father left when he was 4 years old, and his mother is dead, so it's a mystery why he doesn't just say that he has no family, rather than allow his girlfriend to believe that he doesn't care about his family.

Out of fear of being alone on Christmas, Drew tracks down Missy's shrink (why? I have no idea), who suggests he do a forgiveness ritual at his childhood home. When he meets the family living in his childhood home, the Valcos, Drew offers them $250,000 to pretend to be his family, so he can relive his fond childhood memories. He gets angry when he later finds out that they have an adult daughter, Alicia (Christina Applegate), because he "doesn't have a sister," and even goes so far as to write a script for the family to follow so that they act more like his "real" family. None of this makes any sense once Drew reveals that he grew up with no family but his mother.

Also inexplicable is the character of Alicia, who is annoyed that her family accepted Drew's money, and refuses to play along with his fantasy. But for no good reason, she suddenly starts to like Drew, and in a matter of minutes goes from hating his guts to acting like his girlfriend. Drew is such a complete jerk throughout the movie that even his sad story about the lonely Christmases of his childhood evokes no sympathy; I almost wish he had finished with, "Just kidding! The real reason I don't see my family is that they all have restraining orders against me!" (2/10)
12 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Didn't seem like Ben was trying a little too hard?
grandmasnotdead23 October 2004
This movie was pretty absurd. There was a FEW funny parts. Its goes right in to the bin of movies in my memory where I think, "Hmm.....that movie had a few funny parts, but overall, pretty ridiculous plot (or lack of)."

I thought it seemed like Ben was trying a little too hard to be a cooky funny guy. And I didn't understand how he was a self made multi-millionaire and still such an idiot. Anyways, I like Ben Affleck. He makes some crap, but hey, I can forgive him. I mean, I liked Jersey Girl, I didn't think Gigli was all his fault, I like him overall. I guess he's kinda like the kid you feel sorry for cuz he just can't seem to get it right.

My advice would be to avoid this flick. It didn't really develop in to a workable plot and Catherine O'hara and Jimmy G. weren't used as well as they could have been. They deserved better. Overall, this movie is NOT Home Alone, it's NOT A Christmas Story, its NOT Christmas Vacation or any of the other classics. Forever Forgettable.
17 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Any takers to see Ben Affleck in another movie?
kibler@adelphia.net2 April 2005
Surviving Christmas (2004) Ben Affleck, James Gandolfini, Christina Applegate, Catherine O' Hara, Josh Zuckerman, Bill Macy, Jennifer Morrison, Udo Kier, D: Mike Mitchell. Dumped by his girlfriend, a hotshot yuppie doesn't want to be left alone on Christmas so he decides to return to his boyhood home, imposing on the dysfunctional family that now lives there and bribes them to pose as his family. An obnoxious and one-dimensional performance by Affleck, who mainly acts with a flashy smile, makes his character come off as a mentally unbalanced creep, but Gandolfini and O' Hara breathe some life into this mess. Even for farce, its silliness is lumbering, not much makes sense from scene to scene, and its sentimental messages are as phony as Affleck's grin. 91 min., rated PG-13. * ½
21 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not very good...
HIM_dale13 December 2004
I went to see this film at the cinemas and i was shocked when I got in the room. There was only me and my girlfriend! This shouted to me that this film is not very good.

Not to my surprise, the film was dire. Ben Affleck plays a guy who buys a family for Christmas. It is a very predictable narrative with him falling in love with the girl that hates him. His acting is OKish but for the comedy aspect of the film he is not very good. The plot line is poor and the comedy almost non-existent.

However, there are some good points. For example, the family is falling apart and the mother is very funny.

I hope this review stops other people wasting their money. I was very embarrassed when I came out of the room!!!
21 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Underrated. Far from perfect but a really good, enjoyable movie nonetheless.
kwlandry25 December 2014
Underrated. Far from perfect but a really good, enjoyable movie nonetheless. Great chemistry between Applegate and Affleck, Affleck like you'll never see him again, enjoyable, but as he's far down the "Serious, Serious" road now, you'll not see him anywhere near this funny and goofy again. Fantastic supporting cast, Gandolfini is so good as the gruff Dad, O'Hara so perfect as the Mom and to Gandolfini's Dad, Macy as the granddad, and others, can't imagine a better cast. Really good lines peppered throughout, overlook the odd bit here and there and just an enjoyable hour and a half. Clearly there was some struggle during production to get this made, makes you wonder what it could have been, but also clearly why a good cast is so important, and what a great cast can do to save a movie even to the point of making it an enjoyable 90 minutes.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Despite the evil reputation, and Ben Affleck, this is an enjoyable comedy !
elshikh422 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
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 !
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The first comments were so obviously Affleck employee's
giatime23 October 2004
This movie good? 8 out of 10? please more movies like this Ben? Please! Good to see IMDb is that important in the industry that they are now coming here to write phony bi-lines. I actually consider IMDb one of the webs most important sights. But thats another subject. As to this movie; IT SUCKS! Damon is hands down the brains of this duo. I mean, Ripley, Bourne, the guy is awesome. Affleck? Nice guy, but this guy is cardboard. pure and simple cardboard. At some point Hollywood needs to put him and us out of it's misery. I couldn't watch the whole movie. Also Gandolfini, needs to stick to gangster roles, because he also is not an actor just a player, playing his type on screen in every movie.
12 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed