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Dark Side of the Moon: Surviving Christmas – How To Not Spend Christmas

We got through Christmas day and here comes New Year, but before that we have to remember a few movies that didn’t work on such a special and cliché date to the movies.

My choice today – as you could read on the title – os “Surviving Christmas”.

Have you ever heard of it?

Yes, that’s right, if you though about that movie on which Ben Affleck pays a family to be his Christmas family, you’re right!

Let’s go?

Surviving Christmas is a North American comedy movie, directed by Mike Mitchell, written by Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan, Jeffrey Ventimilia and Joshua Sternin, based on a story by Elfont and Kaplan, starred by Ben Affleck, James Gandolfini, Christina Applegate, Catherine O’Hara, Josh Zuckerman, Bill Macy and Jennifer Morrison.

A lot of good people on this story, specially Ben Affleck, a completely recognized actor, and Jennifer Morrison, who’s on the same level.

Although it’s a Christmas movie, DreamWorks SKG released the film at the end of October, in order to avoid colliding with another of Affleck’s movie. The film had negative critics and it was a box office failure, gaining an amount of US 15,1 million around the world with a budget of US 45 million – with good reason, it was brought to the Dark Side of the Moon, right guys?

It was classified by Rotten Tomatoes as the 91st movie on the 100 movies with worst performance on the 2000’s, with a 7% classification. It was also nominated for three awards on the Golden Raspberry, including Worst Movie, Worst Actor (Ben Affleck; also to Jersey Girl) and Worst Script.

It wasn’t for nothing that the choice for this movie was bullseye when I remembered of its existence – I didn’t even know about all this info and I was surprised that it’s really worst than I thought, I wasn’t the only one to think it was bad!

The movie with the story of Drew Lathan (Ben Affleck), who is a rich man and a little egocentric and problematic, who is tired of spending Christmas alone. He, out of nowhere, decides to return to the house he grew up on, hoping to get back that Christmas spirit.

The only thing this story throws at your face as normal is that on the place now lives a completely unknown family: Drew has no contact with his own and, even if he had, he would know they weren’t there, but people who didn’t know him, the Valco.

Drew, as a good consumerist, wants to buy abstract things, right on a family who needs a little of what he has in abundance. And, to complete the plot, we obviously have Alicia Valco (Christina Applegate) – the eldest daughter of the family who has no idea what she’ll find when she gets home.

As it’s expected from a cliché Christmas movie, it’s obvious that Drew falls for the woman, at first a witch to the eyes of the audience. Meanwhile, it shows he is a guy without a family, lonely and who, most of the time, tries to compensate thinking he can buy everything and everyone, but actually has good intentions – in my humble opinion, what she feels for him is pure pity during the movie, because wanting or not, paying a family to stay with you during Christmas, a family who doesn’t even know you, is definitely sad and weird.

The problem on the movie is, actually, it’s script: the production is kinda nice and even acceptable, but the script brings us something too obvious and mechanical – and maybe it was done with this purpose, because the audience likes things like this.

There isn’t much to say about the movie, once it consists on Drew trying to go through Christmas with the rental family. With the cliché plot, it’s humor always brings acidity, sarcasm, a little bit of arrogance and unbelieving – but, still, the end always has a hero with a different personality.

Even if this movie is on the “Dark Side of the Moon”, it can be considered a calm comedy to watch on Christmas, with your family.

It definitely isn’t a movie I like, but it doesn’t mean other people don’t like it or won’t like it – it’s all a matter of opinion and point of view.

And you? Have you decided which will be your best and worst Christmas movie this year? Us from the Sisterhood of the Moon already decided ours. Don’t forget to leave your comment below telling us of your choices!

It’s Lay time!!! I am Laysa, known better in this space as Selene. Born in the countryside of São Paulo and raised in many places. Aquarius child – yes, deal with it! – lover of everything connected to general culture, history, languages, books, random playlists, writing and photography. Also, I should make it clear: Film/Cinematography is my passion.