A Christmas Wedding Tail

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
A Christmas Wedding Tail Movie Poster Image
Artless time waster with talking dogs and grieving kids.
  • PG
  • 2011
  • 88 minutes

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Kids say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The messages that love and family are the most important things in life come through loud and clear, though in an unrealistic manner. The idea that it takes time for children who have lost a parent to recover and adapt to new situations is present, though not treated with much sincerity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The two main characters try very hard to be good parents: They're loving, mostly reliable, concerned about their children's emotional health, and want to provide good homes. However, when the occasion arises and it's threatening for them to tell the truth, they fall short and rely on avoidance, even outright falsehoods. Additionally, the only African-American person in the film is a stereotypical caricature and the object of laughable derision.


A few pratfalls intended as humor: A man falls into a pool, a bakery worker chases two dogs with a rolling pin, and a woman holding a leash is briefly dragged by the dog.


A couple falls in love; they kiss modestly in several scenes.


A few references to "butt," plus some potty language related to dog pee and poop.


Much of the story takes place at Bridlewood Winery, an actual Southern California vineyard. The film also identifies Schutt helmets, Gamma tennis equipment, Cadillac automobiles, and many retail businesses in Los Olivos and Solvang, California.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Much of the story takes place on the grounds of a vineyard. Wine is consumed in moderation on several social occasions.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this made-for-TV movie is presented as a light romantic comedy, but it deals with some important issues: children recovering from a parent's death and the combining of two one-parent families into a new household. Solutions to what can be major problems are resolved easily and bear little resemblance to the reality of those situations. In an attempt to be funny, many character types are portrayed as stupid, bumbling, and untalented. There are some comic pratfalls: A man falls into a pool, a baker wielding a rolling pin chases two dogs, and  a distasteful woman is dragged by a dog on-leash. The word "butt" is heard a few times, and there's an occasional intended-to-be-humorous reference to dog pee or poop.

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written byLukeCon December 7, 2020

This poorly written story may still interest young kids

Young kids will enjoy this, but at the heart of it is really a story that doesn't know where it's going. The story feels like it was written by a seco... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byyost December 7, 2011


this movie is really good and funny

What's the story?

In the picturesque world of Southern California wine country, two dogs initiate an autumn romance between their owners, both of whom are widowed and have young children. "City girl" Susan (Jennie Garth), an out-of-work art curator, and "small-town boy" Jake (Brad Rowe), a vineyard owner, fall in love quickly and attempt to unite her three boys and his two girls in time for a Christmas wedding. But their plans are interrupted when Susan gets a job offer from a famous New York museum and has to reevaluate her life's goals.

Is it any good?

If only helping children deal with the loss of a parent and uniting two families with dissimilar backgrounds were as easy as this lightweight romance tries to make it seem. But lame attempts at comically planning a wedding, talking dogs whose bearing and expression have no resemblance to the words they utter, and cheap laughs at the expense of a variety of stereotypical wedding planners, musicians, and an agent (Tom Arnold is the worst of the lot) take an already shallow premise and make it offensive.


That doesn't even take into account the lack of logic throughout the movie, the far-too-easy dismissal of a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity, and finally the complete lack of suspense, since the film opens at the wedding, then flashes back. It's a harmless movie, but except for the visual beauty of its setting, it's a time-waster.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the many different types of family that are successful and happy. What are some of the issues that a family like Susan's and Jake's might encounter? What kinds of challenges might their family face in real life?

  • Think of some other movies you've liked that have talking animals. What makes them funny? How do they comment on the world around them?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love holiday fare

Themes & Topics

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