A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movies sweet but predictable messages revolve around good people getting what they deserve, and love triumphing over everything else. There's definitely a pro-middle class, anti-elitist sensibility to the movie.
Positive Role Models
Sarah is a hard-working single mother who operates a community center. Jesse is her 9-year-old son who uses a toy company's Christmas contest to get not what only he wants, but what he thinks his mother wants. Ben is an idealistic writer who also volunteers as a Boy Scout troop leader.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two adult characters romantically kiss.
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Products & Purchases
Characters eat from clearly marked boxes of Popeye's Chicken during a work meeting. When a character proposes marriage, there is a close up of a clearly marked Kay Jewelers logo on the ring box.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters drink wine -- and in one instance a shot of hard alcohol -- but do not act intoxicated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that All I Want for Christmas is a formulaic and predictable romantic Christmas movie that is tame enough for tweens and tee. Adult characters drink wine, and in two scenes, product placement is obvious. On the positive side, this movie does try to speak to the difficulties single parents and their children face, especially when one of the parents has died. Ultimately, think of this as a subpar interpretation of Sleepless in Seattle, with a Christmas backdrop. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
At the end of the day, ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is a slightly tweaked, holiday-themed version of Sleepless in Seattle. While the film does make a decent attempt at honestly showing the difficulties single parents and their children contend with, the story itself adheres closely to a predictable, oft-seen formula, and many of the characters -- the single woman's brash friend who tells her she needs to date more, the spoiled rich guy who has never had to work with his hands, the nice guy next door who just can't catch a break -- aren't the most original.
While the actors do the best they can with such trite material, it isn't enough to make this worthwhile. Young kids will be bored with the emphasis more on love and less on Christmas, and older kids will have a good indication of how the film will end about 20 minutes in, if not sooner.
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.