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Surviving Christmas [VHS]

4.0 out of 5 stars 283 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Comedy

Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Affleck, Christina Applegate, James Gandolfini, Catherine O'Hara, Josh Zuckerman
  • Directors: Mike Mitchell
  • Writers: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont, Jennifer Ventimilia, Joshua Sternin
  • Producers: Betty Thomas, Erin Stam, Jenno Topping
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Dreamworks Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 21, 2004
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JN58
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,516 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Surviving Christmas [VHS]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Eshbaugh on February 18, 2006
Format: DVD
I laughed almost the whole time. At times I even had tears in my eyes from laughing. What is wrong with everyone, this movie is freakin hilarious. It is a light hearted, slapstick, funny Christmas family film. Some of the lines were so funny that we still quote them. Hopefully, people will read this review and give this movie a chance. It IS funny. If you are looking for a serious "It's A Wonderful Life" then ok this is not for you. But if you are looking to laugh at some of the Christmas cliches that we all know and love this movie is for you! Some things in this movie are very silly but come on...Christmas Vacation is a great movie. I would rank this with that movie! Enjoy!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have this on DVD. It is one of m favorite holiday movies. It is so funny, while at the same time heart warming. It is all about a guy who discovers that love is more important than anything else. It is an odd movie though. A bit slow and there is not much happening. That is one of the reasons I like it so much. It reminds me of one of those TV movies I saw when I was little, back in the 90s. It is easy to understand and in the end, you will have enjoyed it. Do yourself a favor and pick this movie up now, in time for the holidays!!!!
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When you release a Christmas movie a week before Halloween, I would think a red flag would have to go up. Is it THAT bad that you have to avoid putting it up against other holiday films? That's what I thought, and that's where I was wrong. The film stars Ben Affleck as a lonely man on Christmas who rents a family for $250,000. The film is funny, bittersweet, and had the audience laughing out loud on several occassions. After you catch your haunted Halloween movies next week, make sure you catch SURVIVING CHRISTMAS before it makes its premature departure. It may not go down as an instant holiday classic, but it will definitely lift your spirits this Christmas season. Besides, it beats staying home and watching another two dozen political ads!
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Drew (Affleck), after being dumped by his girlfriend, finds himself in the position of being alone for Christmas. Having some money, he returns to his childhood home, and ends up offering the family that lives there, the Valcos, a healthy paycheck to play his "family" for Christmas. Although reluctant at first, they reluctantly agree when the amount of money offered gets to be pretty insane. At first, he rubs them the wrong way at almost every turn, but eventually they settle into a somewhat peaceful coexistence. That is, until Alicia, his "sister", arrives.

Ben Affleck has not had a good movie in a while, and while this is an entertaining movie, it will not be setting him back on the blockbuster path. Affleck plays Drew with, at times, a maniacal glee, forcing the holiday cheer upon the Valcos with reckless abandon. These are the funniest scenes, but are not enough to carry this movie. James Gandolfini is good as Tom, the father that gets his family into this mess and cannot seem to get them out.

Given that this was released before Halloween, one can't help but think that the studio is writing this one off. And while it is not a great movie, it does provide enough laughs for me to give it a very marginal recommendation. If the previews look good to you, you will probably enjoy it.
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By Sandi on November 9, 2005
Format: DVD
When life's not going exactly the way he wants, Drew (Ben Affleck) decides it's time to go back to his childhood home for Christmas and recapture the magic and idyll of his past. The only problem? His relatives don't live in that house anymore, so reliving his glory days will be much more complicated than he expected. First, he must convince the family (headed by James Gandolfini and Catherine O'Hara) who call the place home to humor him.

We bought this movie last year when it first came out and found it absolutely adorable and very funny. Keep in mind what it is, it is an endearing movie about how incredibly lonely Christmas can be if you don't have family to share it with, it was certainly not intended to generate oscar buzz. Ben Affleck was, as always, outstanding. I just love it and will definitely watch it agaim this Christmas. Happy Holidays!
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Format: DVD
I've been watching the movie constantly on HBO. I think the movie's problem is that it isn't a family movie (a couple of scenes push it out of that genre) and it's too cute to be an adult movie.

Give the movie a chance. The characters really grow on you.
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Format: DVD
Surviving Christmas

This is the last of my Christmas movie reviews until next year. There are a lot of not the top of the pile movies with Christmas themes in one way or another. “Trancers” for instance opens with a young Helen Hunt as a shopping mall Christmas Elf. There is the unbelievable “Bad Santa” of a few years ago. You can see Pia Zadora as a 14 year old, green skinned Martian in “Santa vs. the Martians.” What they have in common is a tiny bit of good cheer, sentiment of the season and an hour’s diversion.
In that spirit I present “Surviving Christmas.” Ben Affleck plays a lonely but very successful New York businessman who has lost track of his family. He travels to his childhood home and offers the family who lives there an astronomical sum of money to pretend to be his real family. His idea is to recapture a slice of his childhood.
Naturally, this turns out to be a bad idea in every conceivable respect. Money, pretence and emotion all get tangled up in predictable ways with predictable results. Ho Hum rather than Ho Ho Ho.
But that does not speak for the cast, which as happens from time to time, rises above the banal material that it is given to work with. Besides Affleck, who continues to survive as an actor in a very brutal Hollywood environment, Christina Applegate of TVs “Love and Marriage” is seen as the adult daughter. She has overcome her character type as a dim witted but beautiful blonde and recently has blossomed as both a comedienne and as a dramatic actress. James Gandolfini, of the wildly popular “The Sopranos”, plays the dad. And Catherine O’Hara, who also played in the excellent “Home Alone” Christmas movies, plays the mom. Gandolfini in particular brings a fine sense of avarice and impatience to his role as the over stressed father.
Only 2.5 saw blades for this Christmas movie, now on DVD. Happy New Year.
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