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Parents' Guide to

Christmas & Co.

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

French holiday tale has surprising language, drug reference.

Movie NR 2017 92 minutes
Christmas & Co. Poster Image

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Kids say (1 ):

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.

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