A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, despite the misleading cover, A Golden Christmas is less about golden retrievers or puppies and more about adult romance during the Christmas holiday. Adult characters drink wine, and there's a fair amount of adult talk about the legalities of home buying, and one reference to affairs. This makes the film not the best holiday fare for kids, and the predictable story makes the film not that appealing to adults.
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What's the story?
Jessica (Andrea Roth) returns to her childhood home with her son Henry for the holidays, the first time she has been back in three years, during which time she grieved over the death of her husband. She tells Henry about her first boyfriend -- who she knew only as "Han," and he only knew her as "Leia" -- and how in the woods behind their house they'd buried a time capsule during a summer vacation, but she had not seen him since. She tells her family that she wants to buy the house from her parents, who are moving to Florida, but her parents tell her they have already sold the house to a nice man named Michael. While Andrea, a successful federal prosecutor, schemes to litigate Michael out of buying the house, Michael's golden retriever begins to drop hints that maybe, just maybe, Michael is the long-lost Han from her childhood, and it is up to the dog, Andrea's family, and Andrea and Michael's children to try and bring them together again.
Is it any good?
A GOLDEN CHRISTMAS is a formulaic and predictable movie that is less about dogs and more about lost and found love during the holiday season. While the acting is decent, the writing is not; kids will be turned off by the kissy-kissy talk throughout the movie, to say nothing of talk of real estate contracts, affairs, and house renovation. Both adults and kids will wish there were more scenes with the golden retriever on the DVD cover.
A Golden Christmas has the potential to be a cute holiday movie with dogs and poignant childhood memories, but when, 20 minutes in, you know exactly how the story will end, the illusion is shattered. Regardless, those looking for a movie about dogs and/or the holidays will be disappointed, as it is only peripherally about both.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the cover of the DVD. Do you think it accurately reflects what the movie is about?
How does this film compare to other movies where dogs play a pivotal role in the action?
Both Michael and Jessica are single parents. How accurately do you think this film portrays the realities of being a single parent?
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