Surviving Christmas | Chicago Reader

Surviving Christmas

Pique on earth and ill will toward men permeate this mirthless comedy, another go-round for the premise of an overaged kid insinuating himself into a stranger's family (Elf, What About Bob?, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star). Left alone for the holidays, an obnoxious advertising mogul (Ben Affleck) shows up at his childhood home and offers the family now living there (James Gandolfini, Catherine O'Hara, Christina Applegate, Josh Zuckerman) a quarter-million dollars if they'll take him in for a few days. The filmmakers set the movie in Chicago to take advantage of our winter weather, but when they arrived for location shooting in January 2003 they encountered subzero temperatures and had to use fake snow. Now that's funny. Mike Mitchell (Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo) directed; the running time is about 90 minutes. PG-13.

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