Holidaze

Common Sense Media says

Pleasant Thanksgiving movie celebrates home and family.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Melody's experiences cause her to question the direction her life is taking, encouraging her to make positive changes. She learns to put greater value on relationships and fulfilling work that has far-reaching benefits in her community. The movie takes a hard stance against big business, casting the executives at a fictional (but relatable) megastore chain as greedy, cold, and ruthless.

Positive role models

While she's not entirely unlikable in the beginning, Melody initially values money and power over less tangible rewards like people's affection and a sense of purpose. When faced with the fallout from her decisions, however, she's willing to risk everything to do what's right.

Violence

In one scene, a woman slaps a man's face. On two occasions, Melody takes a spill and bumps her head.

Sex

Melody and Carter exchange sexy banter and mild foreplay on a few occasions; he asks her if she wants to "do it," he undresses to entice her (only his bare thighs and chest are shown), they're shown cuddling in bed and on one occasion share kisses that hint at more to come later. In other scenes, a man and woman talk in bed after sex (nothing is shown, but they're undressed and wrapped in sheets), and someone references a "booty call."

Language

Infrequently "hell" and variations of "bitch."

Consumerism

Pop culture references include Twitter and Zumba.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults drink wine at meals and social events, but there's no ill effect.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Holidaze is a feel-good story whose reminders about the comforts of home and the value of meaningful relationships are nicely suited to the holidays. The tug-of-war between big business and small-town America is central to the plot, and the story casts corporate executives as exceedingly greedy and unfeeling. There's a sweet love story that brews, generating some suggestive bedroom scenes (in one, a man asks his wife, "You wanna do it?") with kissing and cuddling but nothing too overt. Salty language is similarly minimal ("hell" and "bitch" a few times). On the upside, Melody's emotional journey can encourage teens to take stock of their own values as they consider the risks and benefits of putting a high premium on the almighty dollar.  

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Melody Gerard (Jennie Garth) is a tough-as-nails corporate executive living the urbanite dream in Chicago, happily distant from her small-town roots. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, she's looking forward to spending the holidays in the Caribbean with her girlfriends, but first she's headed to her sleepy hometown of Streetsville to persuade the reluctant residents and local business owners -– including her mother, Elaine (Mary Kay Place), and her ex-fiance, Carter (Cameron Mathison) –- to approve the construction of a controversial new megastore her company wants to build. But after a bump to the head, Melody finds herself in an alternate reality where she's happily settled in Streetsville, married to Carter, and vehemently opposing the advances of the overbearing corporation. When the dust settles, Melody faces a decision between the life she leads and the life she truly wants.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

HOLIDAZE is a cute, comical holiday story that's greatly bolstered by the inclusion of Garth as the delightfully two-sided Melody. Having purposely pursued her career at the expense of marriage, and edging in on a coveted promotion because of this decision, Melody is a passable but mostly exaggerated representation of a modern career woman, and her inner struggle to find her true calling is fairly tangible to older viewers as well. Since we get to see her in both the corporate and small-town rolls, teens especially can contemplate the obvious risks and benefits of each of the divergent life paths.

That said, this movie isn't out to win converts to either side of the career/family struggle. At its heart, it's a dual love story, with one thread following Melody and Carter's prospective reunion and the other exploring Melody's reacquaintance with her small-town values. Ultimately both will warm your heart just in time for the holidays.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the balance between work and family. Teens: Is this a familiar tone in your home? What challenges does it present? Do you see it as a struggle you will win in the future? What goals do you have on each front? 

  • Teens: Why is it difficult to change the direction of a path you're on? What are the risks involved in making a big change in life? Do you have experience with turning adversity into opportunity?

  • Does this movie make unfair claims about the motivations of big business in general? Can big-box stores and other large companies have any positive effect in communities? Is it possible to strike a good balance in this struggle?

TV details

Cast:Cameron Mathison, Jennie Garth, Mary Kay Place
Network:ABC Family
Genre:Drama
Topics:Holidays
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Holidaze was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byjaneeyre06 January 8, 2014
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Family Channel Doesn't Mean Family Appropriate

I was very surprised at this movie. It was on early in the evening, and it was on the family channel, so I assumed it would be a nice, clean watch. I was wrong. If I remember correctly, stopped watching it when it showed the one character in bed with someone she was not married to, and not even in a relationship with. From now on I will keep in mind that family channel does not always mean family appropriate.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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