A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Christmas Kiss is an innocent fairy-tale romance set in modern-day Boston. Originally aired on cable TV in 2011, it's a story that relies on wonderful coincidences, romantic kisses, and traditional male-female roles, despite the fact that the two women in this love triangle are accomplished professionals. One scene shows a woman accidentally hit on the nose, falling, then shrieking, her face bloody. A few coarse expressions ("bitch boss," "ass," "grab his nuts," "crap") give the movie some edge, but otherwise the movie is family-friendly, especially for kids who like their love stories simple, sweet, and with happy endings.
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What's the story?
Wendy Walton (Laura Breckenridge), a talented young designer, is not looking forward to the holiday in A CHRISTMAS KISS. She's had to give up creating the sets for a local production of The Nutcracker Suite because of her demanding boss, Priscilla (Elisabeth Rohm), who expects her to come running night and day. It's no wonder that, while in costume for a party, she's delightfully stunned when a spontaneous elevator kiss with a perfect (and perfectly harmless) stranger turns everything around. In Wendy's eyes, it may have been her Prince Charming. As she tells her best friends, "If we were meant to be together, I'll find him again or -- he'll find me." Imagine the horror she feels when she discovers that this prince, Adam Hughes (Brendan Fehr), is, in reality, Priscilla's beau, the rich, powerful young man upon whom the designer has set her conniving heart. To make matters worse, without the glitter and pizzazz of her party costume, Adam doesn't even recognize her. When Wendy's job is to help Priscilla create holiday magic in Adam's lavish apartment for a Christmas fundraiser, the triangular fun begins. Can Wendy win Adam's heart with her warmth and gentleness? Will Priscilla's icy machinations be discovered? Is Adam truly a prince in businessman attire?
Is it any good?
A good heart and inner beauty should always triumph over supreme shrewishness, and this Christmas snowflake wouldn't have it any other way; it's all lightweight fun with a fairy-tale heart. The characters are likable, relatable, and exactly what you expect them to be. Performances, production, and writing are fine. Just don't ask any questions (such as, what was Adam doing in that elevator anyway?) and enjoy the frothy ride. OK for older kids who like their Christmas packages traditional and wrapped up brightly and don't mind a sprinkling of salty language.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the elements in this movie that make it a fairy tale. What is your own personal definition of a fairy tale? Do fairy tales always have to be set in the past? Do they always need witches, dragons, and royalty?
What does it mean when a character is "one-dimensional"? How does that description pertain to Priscilla? To Tressa and Caroline?
Try your hand at creating a short fairy tale set in your world. Which character would you most like to be?
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