One man, 52 Christmas movies, one must be watched every week or the challenge is lost. Welcome to The Christmas Movie Challenge.
For the 12th film in the challenge I turned to the Unwatched Pile Of Shame. Incase you didn’t know, an Unwatched Pile Of Shame is that collection of DVDs that you just never get around to watching, a pile of dozens of unwatched movies just waiting to be played.
There was but one Christmas title on offer in my pile, I still don’t know how I came to be in possession of it but non the less it’s there. Ben Affleck ‘comedy’ Surviving Christmas got savaged by the critics when it was released, audiences stayed away and the movie is largely forgotten.
Never one to let a small matter of critic hatred and a box office disaster put me off, I told myself it couldn’t be that bad.
Affleck plays unlikable rich boy Drew, who essentially rents a family for Christmas so he doesn’t feel lonely. James Gandolfini is the soul saving grace of the film, he has a natural gift for comedy and is done a disservice with such weak material.
The rest of the cast do their best with what they’ve got, Catherine O’Hara has a few funny lines, and Christina Applegate is likable but is given very little to do. Throughout the entire movie, Affleck was smug and utterly unlikable.
Director Mike Mitchell’s previous films include Deuce Bigalow, Shrek Forever After and underrated Disney flick Sky High.
I didn’t hate this movie, which is about as kind as I can be about it, but for a Christmas comedy, it was short on festive cheer and more importantly very short on laughs. I certainly enjoyed this the least of all of the Christmas movies in this year long challenge. I will need something extra seasonally happy for next week’s installment.
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