Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Surviving Christmas

2004 certainly was the year of bashing Christmas it would seem as there were at least half a dozen cynical films concerning the matter released that year. While SURVIVING CHRISTMAS is not the best of them I certainly found lots to enjoy in it. People love to hate Ben Affleck which is probably because he gets some of the finest ladies in Hollywood but his ability to play the pretty boy spoiled asshole works to a tee here. Christina Applegate is somewhat effective as the love interest though I much preferred her counterpoint, HOUSE M.D.`s stunning Jennifer Morrison who we will soon see as Captain Kirk`s mother, YES....MOTHER (who the hell casted this?!?!?!?!?) in the new STAR TREK. These thing all make it a standard seasonal comedy...what makes SURVIVING CHRISTMAS above average is the fact it was shot with an unfinished script hence much improv was needed and this allowed Catherine O'Hara and James Gandolfini to save what could have been a horrid mess. Gandolfini is just fucking funny as hell in this one and the scene with Udo Kier (one of my faves!) and O'Hara are a riot. OF course they had to tack a happy ending to the thing but their are enough mean spirited laughs here to satisfy even the most jaded grinch!


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