Surviving Christmas

Rated 3.0

Ben Affleck and James Gandolfini get top billing in this screwball Yuletide comedy, but Christina Applegate (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) and Catherine O’Hara (A Mighty Wind) as beleaguered daughter and mother provide the much-needed heart that bridges the film’s scattered big laughs. Affleck plays a lonely, self-centered Chicago millionaire who tries, proverbially, to go home again. He basically rents the family living in his childhood home for the holiday season and makes a general mess of life for everyone while attempting to rekindle the ideals of an old-fashioned family Christmas. Mike Mitchell directs this nonsensical, predictable but jocular romp.