A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate, but it does have some strong positive messages.
Being surrounded by supportive people and examples of loving relationships can have a positive effect on a person's own outlook and ability to connect. Expectations and labels can be unhelpful, but an open mind and heart can welcome good things into your life.
Positive Role Models
Natalie is smart, hardworking, and kind, showing love and support toward her family. She also learns to have an open mind toward others. Her parents are caring and show unconditional love, helping her to learn and grow. Chris Massey embodies the spirit of Christmas in many ways, helping others and doing charitable deeds.
The main character, Natalie, is female, though she, her family, and her love interest are all White, middle class, and able-bodied, and their romantic relationships heteronormative. There is some gender stereotyping including the main character being focused on her career and therefore not on love, the father reading separately while the women choose outfits, and a male character's help needed to cut down a tree. The supporting character of Natalie's boss is a Black woman, and seen to be smart, successful, and kind, showing some positive representation that doesn't adhere to stereotype.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
There is passing mention of the death of a sibling and their children being left without a parent. A character has contractions prior to labor, but the delivery isn't shown.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Romance is at the heart of the film, but beyond a chaste kiss there is nothing overtly sexual.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Occasional use of language such a "shoot" and "jeez."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Shopping is mentioned and shopping bags shown, but the family focus more on home-made gifts. The family own a bookshop and use it to promote their child's book.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol at dinner, in bars, and at parties, though never to excess. Cigars are gifted but not smoked.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dear Christmas is a holiday romance TV movie with little to offend other than some gender stereotyping. The familiar plot centers around Natalie Morgan (Melissa Joan Hart), a woman who has her own podcast about love, but has never found it herself. The importance of family and Christmas traditions are prominent throughout, with plenty of festive music and cheer. Characters are seen drinking alcohol on a number of occasions, but never to excess. A box of cigars are also given as a present, but not smoked. There is a lack of diversity in the cast, and some gender roles are reinforced. But the film is otherwise a gentle yet uninspiring affair that will appeal to those with a penchant for something easy to get them into the Christmas spirit. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Even with its host of familiar names -- its central '90s icons joined by Ed Begley Jr. as Natalie's father -- this Christmas romance never quite finds the sparkle in its star power. Dear Christmas follows the festive romcom formula to the very last detail, but doesn't up the stakes enough for the drama to really kick in. Is the audience really invested in the romance and, more importantly, are the characters?
Where it does shine a little more brightly is in the candy-cane cuteness of the setting and the warm family dynamics. The festive atmosphere of the town and the Morgan family home do a good job of conjuring the wonder and magic of years of history and tradition. A classic it's not, but with a hot cocoa on a winter's night, it has enough heart and shiny lights to muster up some festive cheer.
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.