A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Everything doesn't have to be perfect.
Positive Role Models
Jessica found magic in Christmas when she was a child and injecting her movies with love and Christmas spirit is her life's work.
Asian, Black, Latino, and White actors appear.
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Violence & Scariness
A golf cart is driven recklessly. A dog goes missing and for comic effect the owner is upset. Someone mentions wetting a bed. Actors in a zombie movie have blood makeup around fake neck slashes, all presented for comic effect.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
An actor slept with his co-star in the effort to improve their on-screen relationship. He explains he has a fiancée but they are in an "open" relationship. Adults kiss.
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"Crap," "screw," and "God" as an exclamation.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Hollywood Christmas employs the making of a Christmas movie as a way of commenting on the delights and absurdities of Christmas movies. Parallel to the "magical" influence of the Christmas spirit in the movie-within-a-movie plot is a romance that's equally "destined" by the season's spirit. A golf cart is driven recklessly for comic effect. A dog goes missing and for comic effect the owner is upset. Someone mentions wetting a bed. Actors in a zombie movie have blood makeup around fake neck slashes, all presented for comic effect. Adults kiss. References are made to infidelity. An actor slept with his co-star in an effort to improve their on-screen relationship. He explains he has a fiancée but they are in an "open" relationship. Language includes "crap," "screw," and "God" as an exclamation. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
An interesting feature of the movie-within-a-movie in A Hollywood Christmas is that, in effect, this writes its own so-so review. A tad cleverer than most boilerplate holiday fluff, this film offers a running commentary on every repetitive and formulaic step it takes. The hate-love central relationship, the "magic" of the season, the Christmas spirit, the snow in July, a "real" Santa, even the fact that Christmas movie makers settle for providing "warm, comforting, predictable entertainment," with the emphasis on predictable. The fictional filmmaker here even boasts that comforting predictability is "a feature, not a bug" of the movies she proudly makes.
This movie goes further than the usual required ingredients, adding a good share of nonessential clichés. Actors are portrayed as self-absorbed idiots. Dog owners are witless hysterics. Network execs are heartless shrews who weren't hugged enough as kids. If only life were that simple. But that is the point. The picture offers simplicity to a degree so absurd that when you give yourself over to it, the movie can, in fact, be mindlessly enjoyable in a mundane way. The troubling cop-out on the part of these filmmakers is that there actually are lots of great Christmas movies -- The Bishop's Wife, It's a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, White Christmas, Christmas in Connecticut, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, You've Got Mail -- and that it takes more than following a formula to make one.
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.