Surviving Christmas Screens Stale as a Week-Old Cheeseball
- Thursday, October 21, 2004
Despite the fact that it's a film about the Christ Mass, the only spiritual content is when Drew writes down the source of his pain and says, "I forgive you," then tosses it into the fire. Unfortunately, he writes down "Everyone I care about leaves me." So who is Drew forgiving and why? It's never made clear. Ah, forgiveness - better to leave it vague, you know. Moreover, the film's message seems to be that the real meaning of Christmas is about connecting with family. And conveniently, director Mike Mitchell ("Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo") has redefined family to mean anyone that you happen to connect with, in a deep way. Of course, according to Christian pollster George Barna, that's the way the overwhelming majority of GenXers define family, anyway.
Christians believe that Christmas is not about family, but about Jesus. If we celebrate the Christ-Mass with our family - however we define that word, and given the radical implosion of the family, the redefinition is tragically necessary - that's great. But if we celebrate family without Jesus, then our rejoicing is in vain. Our true family, as Jesus pointed out, are those who worship Him. And we're very blessed indeed if the two happen to overlap.
The film has a few positive things, like the rare benign joke and a scene that looks like a well-filmed clip from "America's Funniest Videos" - if you think people screaming and falling off a sled makes it hilarious. Unfortunately, even these kid-friendly jokes are few and far between. Besides, even if you choose to set aside the perverse sexuality and language, you've still got a really bad film.
When it comes to "Surviving Christmas," it was all I could do to survive the 92 minutes run-time before escaping from the theatre. I suggest you do the same, only long before it begins.
- Drugs/Alcohol Content: Drinking throughout film; character smokes pot.
- Language/Profanity: Approximately two dozen profanities and obscenities.
- Sexual Content/Nudity: Extreme - includes child surfing pornographic websites with grandfather participating; wife engaging in pornographic photo shoot and later, her lewd photos appear on Internet and are seen by entire family.
- Violence: One man attacks another with shovel, knocking him unconscious; various physical humor-style falls (from stairs) and accidents (e.g. sledding).
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