Published January 14, 2015
In his new movie coming out this weekend, Affleck plays a wealthy advertising executive who becomes depressed during the holidays and decides to hire the family living in his childhood home.
"A lot of people could relate to the notion, like being lonely at Christmas. This character Drew (Latham) is a little crazy and he's kind of annoying, he basically comes in and annoys this family to death," Affleck, who plays Latham, told FOX News.
But Affleck might be lonely at the box office, too. "Surviving Christmas" is kicking off to some terrible reviews, including one by the New York Post that rated it DG for dubious, ghastly and don't go! and gave it zero stars, adding "you'll be sorry if you see this."
"This may be the final career-killer for the long-coasting Affleck, whose cringe-worthy, over-the-top attempts at slapstick here add new resonance to the lyric from 'Team America: World Police': 'I need you/like Ben Affleck needs acting lessons,'" wrote Post critic Lou Lumenick.
Lumenick also adds that "nobody survives 'Surviving Christmas,' not even the supremely talented James Gandolfini (search)." The beloved "Sopranos" actor reportedly locked himself in his trailer on the set, demanding script rewrites, and Lumenick says he "merely glowers in embarrassment" in the film.
Associated Press critic David Germain also suggests that the curse of "Gigli," Affleck's bomb with ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez (search), is still on the affable Boston native.
"In the atrocious holiday comedy 'Surviving Christmas,' Affleck is as stilted and awkward as he's ever been, fumbling along with a dopey grin and way-over-the-top jocularity," German wrote.
But gossip columnist Liz Smith says viewers should at least give Ben a chance.
"I have not seen this latest Affleck opus. Maybe it's as bad as they say. But I wonder if after Bennifer and 'Gigli,' Ben and Jennifer Lopez didn't both enter what I call 'The Madonna Zone.' That is, nothing they do will ever please their critics. There's a built-in resistance," Smith wrote in her column this week.
"Surviving Christmas," a DreamWorks release, is rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and a brief drug reference. Running time: 91 minutes.