A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's important to have a work-life balance. Open up, be honest, and take risks. Admit when you are wrong and make amends.
Positive Role Models
Ellie is talented and works hard. She's a perfectionist in her career and doesn't like to take risks in life, which makes her scared to commit to relationships and "ghost" men on dating apps, talking to them for a while then never messaging them back. She's encouraged to make amends and learns to communicate and show empathy and courage in contacting those she has treated badly. Charlie is fun-loving and doesn't let work time spill into his personal life, but is scared to commit to a higher role at work because of a difficult work-life balance in the past. He's kind, supportive, and encouraging toward Ellie.
The female lead, Annie, is a character artist for computer games -- an industry often portrayed as majority male. Her boss is a Black woman, showing further diverse representation within the industry. While the central family is mostly White, Annie's best friend and sister-in-law is played by Chinese-Canadian actress Connie Wang. Among the list of her exes are names of Hispanic and Middle-Eastern origin, including Jose and Amir. Annie's mother raised her and her brother as a single parent after the death of her husband, and the family is shown to be close and well-provided for.
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Violence & Scariness
Mention of death of a father.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kisses on lips. Frequent mention of dating apps and going on dates.
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Products & Purchases
Mention of Atari and Venmo money app. Lead character shops for presents at a Christmas market.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol at a party, wine with dinner, and cocktails at a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ghosts of Christmas Past is a lighthearted festive romance likely to appeal to adults, teens, and older kids who enjoy an upbeat holiday movie. Central character Ellie (Annie Clark) is told by a fortune teller that if she doesn't make amends with all the men she's "ghosted" online before Christmas Day, she will never find true love. It has representation of women within the video games industry, and has positive messages about opening up, communicating, and being honest, as well as showing empathy and courage. Characters drink alcohol, but are not seen drunk, and there is kissing and frequent mention of dating. It's fairly predictable stuff, but the acting is solid and there's good chemistry between Annie and fellow lead Charlie (Dan Jeannotte), making this an enjoyable, if a little cheesy, Christmas romance with a sprinkle of festive humor. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This festive TV movie is a play on the familiar Christmas theme of a character being given an ultimatum to change their ways before the clock strikes midnight. Ghosts of Christmas Past even references A Christmas Carol on a number of occasions and takes a fun angle on this tried-and-tested territory that owes a lot to the performances of its leads. This isn't as wide-eyed and cheesy as some holiday romances, with Clark making for a relatable lead and the relationships with both her brother and sister-in-law, as well as her colleague Charlie, believable and with a welcome dose of knowing sarcasm in places. It still has enough of the requisite warmth, with some sweet family moments and fittingly romantic ending, and the modern take doesn't diminish any of the positive messages or festive magic, making this a solid addition to the Christmas line-up.
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.