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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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
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.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Sporadic use of "damn," "bitch," and "pissed."
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.