A Wedding for Christmas

Movie review by
Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media
A Wedding for Christmas Movie Poster Image
Predictable holiday romance about being true to yourself.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The movie is intended for entertainment rather than education. But audiences may learn the importance of family and friends over a more materialistic lifestyle.

Positive Messages

Themes include putting family first and not being materialistic. Also encourages empathy and teaches the importance of staying true to yourself and your roots.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some stereotyping of both small town and city folk. Those from Los Angeles are mostly seen to prioritize looks, money, and success, while the residents of Truxton are portrayed as helpful, caring, and generous. Haley initially shows some snobbery to the Truxton residents but then mends her ways.

Violence & Scariness

Mention of deceased parents and grandparents long ago.

Sexy Stuff

Flirting and a few quick kisses on the lips during a wedding ceremony.

Language
Consumerism

Initially there's some emphasis on the need to spend money. But the overall lesson is that an event can be just as magical with a more modest budget and items made with love rather than money. Mobile phones feature prominently, but they're linked to less positive communications between the "city folk."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional drinking with dinner and a champagne reception during a wedding -- but no one drinks to excess.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Wedding For Christmas is a romantic holiday movie with themes of empathy and staying true to your roots. Initially main character Haley (Cristine Prosperi) puts a lot of emphasis on money and success. She's judgmental and disrespectful to the people from her hometown because they prioritize happiness and kindness over more material things. But she eventually learns to change her outlook on life. There's some mention of the deaths of parents and grandparents, though they occurred in the past. There's no violence or strong language, and the romance at the heart of the movie is very chaste (with just a little flirting and quick kisses). The movie encourages kindness, understanding, and prioritizing family and community over anything else.

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What's the story?

In A WEDDING FOR CHRISTMAS, successful big city wedding planner Haley (Cristine Prosperi) is forced to return to her small hometown of Truxton to help with her sister's marriage. Used to a glamorous, fast-paced, high-pressure lifestyle, Haley holds her former town with little regard. But when Haley's fancy city contacts let her down and a snowstorm threatens to ruin the wedding, she has to rely on the people she initially shunned -- including her former childhood friend, Carter (Colton Little) -- to make her sister's day a success. Can Hayley pull off the perfect wedding? Can she open her heart enough to be the person she once was? And can she convince Carter that people really can change?

Is it any good?

This romcom is full of stock characters -- the demanding boss, the sweet local boy from childhood, the kindly old relatives -- and all-too-predictable plot turns. But if there's one time of year when movies can get away with a "cookie cutter" approach, it's Christmas. And while the screenplay certainly won't win any Oscars, it's warm and comforting, and there’s something to be said for knowing where a story is heading -- particularly when that's toward a happy ending.

A Wedding for Christmas could have benefited from raising the stakes at some points -- the wedding never really feels in peril, nor does the path of true love run particularly bumpily -- and the acting isn’t entirely convincing, particularly from those in smaller roles. But with just the right amount of heart and festive sparkle, this cookie still tastes sweet enough.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the meaning of community in A Wedding for Christmas. How does the movie portray the residents of Truxton? What could we learn from them?

  • How does Haley's character change throughout the movie? What character strengths does she show? How does this impact the way she treats people?

  • Haley says at one point that she changed to fit in when she moved to Los Angeles. Can you think of a time when you’ve changed anything in order to fit in? Do you think it is important to be yourself?

  • Describe Carter’s character. What are his strong points? Do you think he's a positive role model?

Movie details

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