Share the warmth
John 'B.J.' Bryant
Running Time: 91 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12a
Country: United States
Anyone whos ever seen Gigli already knows Ben Affleck is no stranger to turkeys. He and erstwhile other half J-Lo gobble-gobbled their way to the top of the flops with the 2003 all-time stinker – and now His Ben-ness is at it again, only this time hes going it alone, and the turkey is of the Christmas variety. Get pre-heating that oven now, folks and get ready to want to put your head inside.
The cuboid-faced dud-merchant plays Drew Latham, a gormless self-obsessive who were somehow supposed to believe is so good at his job as an advertising exec that its made him a multi-millionaire. The part thats much easier to buy into is that nobody likes him very much so, when Chrimbo comes about, hes all on his lonesome. Unable to work out that the best way to remedy this situation would be to stop acting the moron, he decides instead to get his chequebook out and buy himself the yuletide company of a bewildered family (among them James Gandolfini as Dad, Catherine OHara as Mom, Josh Zuckerman as Little Bro, and Christina Applegate as the sister you just know is destined for some squirm-worthy interludes with her newfound sibling).
Theres just so much wrong with this film that I struggle to know where to begin. For one thing, most of the story just doesnt make sense. Sure, the $250,000 dangled in front of the family would be a huge temptation, but are we really supposed to just accept the fact that they never question how on earth their house-guest can afford it? Then theres the acting. Quite simply, Afflecks performance is blindingly bad. Its obvious that the guy desperately seeks acceptance as a credible comedy performer, but every aspect of the job just deserts him at every turn. Timing? Delivery? Self-deprecation? He has none of them.
Whats more, the fleeting references to not-for-the-kiddies subject matter may seem insignificant, but for a festive flick like this one theyre the final nail in the coffin. It means the film has earned itself a 12A certificate, with the result that its one slight hope of an audience families wont be able to see it. Thankfully, they wont be missing much.
It's Got: An overall premise suspiciously similar to Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.
It Needs: To make it a tad less obvious its deliberately keeping the story of Drews real family for the schmaltzy bit at the end.
Alternatives:Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star
Turkeys come early this year!