You know Christmas is only a month away when Christmas movies, great and good and bad, start running on TV.
On Thursday I watched Surviving Christmas. Apparently Ben Affleck opened his own production company in order to direct and star in some very stupid movies. I hear he's doing better now. This was an annoying movie because Ben Affleck, as a lonely obnoxious millionaire, played his part way over the top . . . way way over the top. He could not possibly have been more obnoxious. In fact, he was way way way too obnoxious.
The high point of this movie is Tom and Christine Valco, played by two amazing actors . . . James Gandolfini and Catherine O'Hara. The Valcos were just trying to get through the holidays with their kids before telling them that they were splitting up. Unfortunately for them, Drew Latham (Affleck) grew up in their house. He tours the house and then offers the Valcos a huge pile of money if they will pretend to be his family for Christmas.
It doesn't go well because Latham is demanding and obnoxious and the Valcos have their own problems. Like any Christmas movie worth its salt, everything works out in the end.
My favourite little gem in this movie is Bill Macy, playing Latham's Doo-Dah (pretend grandfather). I remember Bill Macy from the TV show Maude. Best gag of the movie is when Doo-Dah can't make it to a dinner party at the Valcos and decides to send his understudy, played by Sy Richardson.