A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
You must fight for those you love.
Positive Role Models
Santa knows a lot about everyone's wish list but not much about how the world works. He wants all kids to get everything they want, but he seems impatient when kids don't listen, when they cry, or when they otherwise misbehave. Weary of the noise of raising kids and the pressures of adult responsibility, Thomas wishes he were on his own, then realizes he loves his family and the responsibility that goes with it. Depressed by his failures, Santa wants to give up, but his love for his wife helps him go on.
Violence & Scariness
Santa falls and hits his head. Police chase two men. Santa is arrested for busting up a pharmacy. A young girl is sucked up into Santa's magical, bottomless basket and can't get out. Her mother thinks she's been kidnapped.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Married people kiss.
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Given the generally child-friendly subject matter, the use of adult language is odd. The movie is French, and cultural differences may account for this. The following words appear in the subtitles: uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "fart," "t-ts," "weenie," "hell," "screw," "poop," and "jerk."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Santa needs lots of vitamin C to cure his elves. Jay mistakenly thinks his brother is growing marijuana on the roof.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Christmas & Co. is a French family comedy (with English subtitles) that poses the magical question: What would happen if Santa had to come among humans and figure out how to get some vitamin C? He hopes the vitamin will cure his 92,000 elves, who have all come down with an illness that is jeopardizing Christmas and thus the world as we know it. Santa sinks into a depression. He falls and hits his head. Police chase two men. Santa is arrested for busting up a pharmacy. A young girl is sucked up into Santa's magical, bottomless basket and can't get out. Her mother thinks she's been kidnapped. Surprisingly adult language -- "f--k" (once), "s--t" (twice), "t-ts" (once), "bitch," "screw," and "jerk" -- is used sparingly. Jay mistakenly thinks his brother is growing marijuana on the roof. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
As the movie's writer, director, and lead character, Alain Chabat impresses in all his roles. He underplays Santa, offering a character more like a puzzled time traveler than the ho-ho-ho-er many of us have seen in other media depictions. Christmas & Co feels as if it's been written by a surrealist comedian with dialogue that mimics the style of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first" routine and at times echoes an absurdist Samuel Beckett play. Santa doesn't understand much of the way the human world works, and when Thomas and Amelie try to explain the concept of buying and selling to someone whose entire existence is dedicated to giving, the interchange is amusing but also affecting.
Santa's conversations with his reindeer, especially Ralph Laureindeer, seem normal, a tribute to Chabat's ability to create a world and invites us to believe in the magic the movie is selling. Most of it is so clever that you don't mind the occasional seeming contradictions. He's never seen a cell phone, but knows about almond milk and lactose intolerance. And the surprising language and drug reference might put this one on the naughty list for younger kids. Still, there's lots of holiday cheer here for older kids and their families.
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.