A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
Stands out for positive role models.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Christmas in Carolina is a romance between two adults old enough to have well-established careers. There's almost no content of concern, just a few brief kisses, some holding hands, and adults having wine, but no excess is shown. It's full of terrific role models and positive representations of African Americans. Kid and teen appeal may be limited because even though it's set during the Christmas season it's not about Christmas, and there's only one child cast member who appears very briefly.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
CHRISTMAS IN CAROLINA is about the romance between investment advisor Elle (Joslyn Y Hall) and team manager Wesley (David L. Rowell), who meet when Elle's cousin Blythe (Jessi Nicolet) sets them up on a blind date. It doesn't go well, to say the least: Wesley is late, and Elle can hardly put her phone down thanks to her demanding job. But there's something there, and they decide to give it another try. They start falling for each other quickly, and Wesley invites Elle to spend Christmas with his large, extended family in South Carolina. Elle is welcomed warmly, but trouble and doubts start to creep in when Wesley's brother Ryan (Terrence Shingler) insists that Elle is lying to Wesley. Maybe they weren't meant for each other after all.
Is it any good?
This gentle romance set during the Christmas holiday season radiates warmth and positivity. Unfortunately, all that good feeling in Christmas in Carolina doesn't quite overcome the very slow pace, predictability, or uneven acting. There are even a couple of continuity problems, one of which just seems careless and the other is confusing. The story also skips some crucial parts that would give the movie a stronger foundation if we got see, for example, how or why Elle changes her mind.
The quiet, gentle pace and characters who are all adults with well-established careers or grown children may limit the appeal to teens. And although Christmas is a prominent backdrop, very little about the story would change if it were set during any other time of year. This limits kid appeal, too, since the movie isn't about Christmas itself, and only one child character appears very, very briefly. Fans of the '90s sitcom Family Matters may enjoy seeing two cast remembers reunite as siblings.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the positive role models in Christmas in Carolina. Why is diversity in movies, TV, games, and other media important? How do you feel when you see positive characters who look like you? What do you learn from seeing people who are different?
Romance movies are always popular. What do we love about them? What are some of your favorites? How does this one compare?
Wesley's family loves Christmas because it brings everyone together. What's your favorite holiday? What makes it special or magical for you?
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