Parents' Guide to

Christmas as Usual

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Couple experiences holiday culture clash; language, racism.

Movie NR 2023 88 minutes
Christmas as Usual movie poster: Indian man and White woman look at each other

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Norway is racist

it is a very racist movie. Truly shows the narrow mindedness of some cultures/country and their people. i had heard about Norways racist culture but now we can see it in the movie. honestly not worth watching unless you want to see or know how close minded Norwegians are.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Christmas as Usual starts with a fun idea, the juxtaposition of two cultures during an iconic holiday filled with long-practiced traditions. But the movie quickly lets us down. What is so unforgivable about Thea is the way she does nothing to shield Jashan from the constant nasty rejection he's handed by her mother and brother. (One also wonders, why doesn't Thea have a Norwegian accent like her mother and brother?) Thea proves herself over and over to not only be unkind to her fiancé, but also to be a terrible communicator in general with dreadful judgment, not someone one would want to spend a lifetime with. It's difficult not to feel that humorless, insensitive Thea doesn't deserve the warm, cheerful, and tolerant Jashan. Her family is supposedly heavily steeped in Christmas spirit yet, ironically, nowhere do they display the welcoming warmth and acceptance supposedly associated with the holiday, an issue that isn't addressed at all.

It is Jashan, the non-Christian, who turns out to be accepting, tolerant of oddity, and embracing of difference. If anything, that fact is the movie's biggest, most unwitting message. Jashan points out that Thea will have just as much trouble fitting in with his family in India but the difference is that, unlike Thea, he will have her back.

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