Surviving Christmas

  • 12
  • Mike Mitchell (2004)
  • US
  • 86 min
Surviving Christmas
Film Review
Reviewed By
1 out of 5

Ben Affleck's career was still in the doldrums when he made another ill-advised career choice with this pitiful festive comedy. Here he plays rich advertising executive Drew Latham, who finds himself dumped by his tradition-obsessed girlfriend when she's denied Christmas with his family (he doesn't seem to have one). As a result, Latham returns to his former home where he pays the blue-collar Valco family that now lives there to let him spend the holiday period with them as their son. Cue a mess of clichés, pratfalls and limp jokes that feels like National Lampoon at its worst. Although Affleck has proven himself an able comic in the past, here his performance consists of shouting continually while wearing a ridiculous grin. Even co-stars James Gandolfini and Catherine O'Hara as the Valco parents, who at least realise less is more, cannot rescue the movie.

Plot Summary

Comedy starring Ben Affleck. Wealthy advertising executive Drew Latham faces Christmas alone after quarrelling with his girlfriend, so he decides to revisit his old childhood home, only to find it now occupied by the Valco family. Desperate for company, he pays the Valcos to let him spend the holiday season with them as their son. While dad Tom (James Gandolfini) is happy to take the cash, the rest of the clan don't take too kindly to Drew's presence, especially daughter Alicia (Christina Applegate).

Cast and crew


Drew Latham
Ben Affleck
Tom Valco
James Gandolfini
Alicia Valco
Christina Applegate
Christine Valco
Catherine O'Hara
Brian Valco
Josh Zuckerman
Bill Macy
Missy Vangilder
Jennifer Morrison
Udo Kier


Mike Mitchell

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Contains some swearing.
Available on DVD
Released 3 Dec 2004
Certificate 12