All American Christmas Carol

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
All American Christmas Carol Movie Poster Image
Redemption story has underage drinking, heavy innuendo.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 87 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Redemption is possible; people can truly change. Some stereotypes about trailer park life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main character is a parent who is admittedly bad at parenting. She doesn't watch her kids, teaches them that work is for suckers, speaks negatively about their deceased father if she speaks about him at all, lies and manipulates men to get money or bills covered, and is generally neglectful and absent as a parent, though this is turned around by the film's end.

Violence

A man is hit in the face with a potato from a potato gun. A kid runs around the house with a paintball gun. A man is shown deceased with an eye injury from a paintball gun. Two kids attempt to stick a kid's head in a urinal to bully him. A woman helps the bullied child take turns kicking both boys in the crotch.

Sex

Sexy images and innuendo throughout, including scantily clad women with close-up or lingering shots of bottoms, bodies in bikinis, or short-shorts. Much discussion centers on women as sex objects ("She's what you call a hit and run. You hit it, and you run") or insults ("Your mama smells like beer and used condoms. Just kidding, she never used a condom"). A man ogles his own daughter, then slaps her on the behind. A guy and girl make out on a bed. Girls dance in their underwear at a party, getting sprayed with beer.

Language

Some profanity, such as "kick ass," "son of a bitch," and "damn," as well as crass and insulting language throughout, such as "sucks," "dummy," and "jerk."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette smoking throughout and drinking, including underage drinking. Drinking is shown casually during the day, at a funeral (directly out of the dead man's coffin), in multiple scenes out of Solo cups at parties, and at a bar (including a woman encouraging a 17-year-old to drink, which she does to excess and then vomits). Multiple scenes involve women drinking while being doused/sprayed with beer, as if in a slow-motion music video.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that All American Christmas Carol features drinking, including underage drinking, casual smoking, stereotypes about trailer park life, crassness, and heavy innuendo, as well as multiple scenes featuring sexualized images of women. It also involves multiple deceased parents, including one who visits as a ghost. Though the story is a comedy about redemption, the heavy themes, deaths, absentee parenting, and casual drinking and smoking make this better for older teens.

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What's the story?

Cindy (Taryn Manning) is not the greatest mom: She smokes, drinks, is never around, and prefers to manipulate men into covering her bills rather than put any of her real skills to use. But when she's visited by three ghosts who show her the past, the present, and the future, she finally sees what her life could be like if she simply made an effort. The question is, will she do anything about it?

Is it any good?

ALL AMERICAN CHRISTMAS CAROL is a redneck take on A Christmas Carol -- something like Joe Dirt meets Scrooged. And it has a solid cast backing it up with Taryn Manning, Eric Roberts, and Beverly D'Angelo. Though it's loaded with sight gags and jabs at the trailer park, it attempts to show a slightly wider range of working-class folk doing their best to make ends meet and raise their families. Kids may like watching to see other children live unsupervised, shooting paintball guns and spray-painting Christmas trees on walls in lieu of real (or fake) ones, but the rampant sexualized images, the jokes about multiple baby daddies, and casual drinking and smoking, including underage drinking, make this much too crass for younger kids and likely to warrant a bit of discussion with teens. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about this "redneck" take on A Christmas Carol. What do you think worked about the story? What didn't?

  • Do you think a father portrayed the same way as the mother in this film would be judged as harshly? Why, or why not?

  • What does the main character ultimately learn about her role as a parent and her value to her kids? Why do you think her character didn't understand that at first?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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