12 Dates of Christmas

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
12 Dates of Christmas Movie Poster Image
So-so romcom has positive messages about redemption.
  • PG
  • 2011
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Self-reflection and a willingness to change are integral to Kate's ability to move forward in her life. She tries and fails many times before she gets it right, but the rewards of her doing so extend beyond her own happiness to those whose lives she influences. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kate starts out as self-centered and unyielding, which causes her to look past the harm she does to those around her. As the story unfolds, though, she embraces change and begins to worry less about herself and more about bringing happiness to others.


In one scene, Kate puts on a form-fitting dress to try to woo her ex-boyfriend. A sweet romance develops between two people, culminating in a couple of kisses.  


Sporadic use of "damn," "bitch," and "pissed."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, as romantic comedies go, the holiday-flavored 12 Dates of Christmas is quite tame. There's no sexual content to speak of (a couple of kisses is as strong as it gets) and only a smattering of swearing ("damn," "bitch," "pissed"), so it's a viable option for older tweens. The story's messages are similarly likable, as the main character is forced to reassess her priorities when she realizes how her actions have negatively impacted other people. It's not destined to be a classic, but this movie has some merit and, if nothing else, certainly will leave you in the holiday spirit.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRochya H. December 8, 2020


It was really good although it felt very long because the main character had to repeat the same day 12 times. It said damn, hell, bitch, and pissed off nothing... Continue reading
Parent of a 15-year-old Written byawells135 December 7, 2019

A new favorite!

This is a new favorite! Gets us in the Christmas spirit and a movie my tween and teen can enjoy together. Good message about what is most important. Sweet chara... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKpet213 September 14, 2020

Decent! And...

This movie was entertaining. Although it’s only an hour and 27 minutes long it seems at least two hours due to the repetitive day. There’s a couple minor cus wo... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 3, 2020

Selane’s review

I liked this movie, it got a little boring after a while spoiler: she had to live the same day 12 days in a row and she did everything different every day, but... Continue reading

What's the story?

12 DATES OF CHRISTMAS centers on Kate (Amy Smart), a twentysomething with a life plan that hinges on winning back her ex-boyfriend and spending the rest of her life with him, even though that means disregarding the feelings of her blind date, Miles (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). But when a twist of fate causes her to relive Christmas Eve over and over again, she realizes that wanting a relationship and making one work are two very different things. Each time the clock strikes midnight and her day resets, Kate must identify where she's gone wrong and get back on track to finding -- and inspiring -- true love.

Is it any good?

Borrowing a page from the time-loop comedy Groundhog Day, this movie works in a sappy-sweet, opposites-attract love plot that just happens to take place on Christmas Eve. This holiday tie-in bolsters what's otherwise a lukewarm story marked by a handful of funny moments and the requisite romantic ones. There's little that's remarkable about the story itself, but that doesn't mean the mostly predictable ending won't leave you feeling warm and fuzzy nonetheless.

If your older tweens are champing at the bit for a more grown-up movie and they can handle a smattering of similarly grown-up language, then 12 Dates of Christmas might be a good option for them. The relationship at the heart of the story takes some time to develop (hence the multiple replays of Kate's day), but when it does, it's because of mutual affection and respect and Kate's newfound patience with life's unpredictability. After a few missteps, she learns to be open to change and to be more aware of how she can have a positive effect on those around her, which at the very least is a good reminder of life's learning experiences and the possibility of redemption.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about relationships. What common factors do you notice in successful relationships? How do you know when you love someone? What are some age-appropriate expressions of affection that you see among your peers? What are your family's rules about dating?

  • How does the media portray love and marriage? Does what you see on TV and in movies coincide with your family's values concerning relationships? Why or why not? How much of the sexual content you see is sensationalistic? Do any shows attempt to reflect reality?

  • Tweens: Can you think of a time in your life that you'd like to repeat and change? What would you do differently? How would you benefit from the change? Would it help others? How can we learn from the negative choices we make?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate