Surviving Christmas (2004)

Comedy, Romance
Ben Affleck, Christina Applegate, James Gandolfini, Catherine O'Hara
A lonely, obnoxious young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him.
Surviving Christmas is unpleasant characters attacking each other for 90 minutes before delivering a typical, hollow anti-consumerist message
  • Dreamworks Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 22 Oct 2004 Released:
  • 21 Dec 2004 DVD Release:
  • $11.2M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Not as bad as I heard7/10
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:)
Surprised and Sore10/10
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!
Surprisingly funny7/10
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.
Subvert that genre!5/10
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.
Hilarious! Home run comedy folks!5/10
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!