A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever stars Internet meme Grumpy Cat, whose comically sullen appearance has made her the face of an extensive merchandise line. The lackluster movie promotes the Grumpy Cat brand through numerous mini-commercials that show products such as mugs, toys, and clothing bearing the feline's famous image. The cat also frequently pops into scenes to encourage viewers to visit her website and to tweet about the movie itself. Commercialism aside, there's little to write home about with regard to this mediocre story, save a lukewarm plot line surrounding a lonely girl and her unlikely new friend. Expect some violence that's played for laughs (punches thrown, an archery accident, and peril related to a robbery) as well as language ("dammit," "hell," and lots of name-calling). The bottom line? Unless you think Grumpy Cat's humor is the cat's meow, this isn't one to pounce on.
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What's the story?
Internet sensation Grumpy Cat (aka Tardar Sauce, voiced by Aubrey Plaza) stars in her first screen production in GRUMPY CAT'S WORST CHRISTMAS EVER. A semi-permanent resident of a mall pet store after being bought and returned twice, Grumpy Cat makes the acquaintance of 12-year-old Chrystal (Megan Charpentier) when a Christmas wish allows her to hear the cat talk. When the two stumble into a Christmas Eve robbery in the mall, Grumpy Cat reluctantly helps Chrystal outsmart the dimwitted criminals, leading to a unique camaraderie between the two. As Chrystal learns the value of friendship, Grumpy is forced to consider the possibility that there may be a silver lining to the holidays. Or maybe it will still be the worst Christmas ever.
Is it any good?
Grumpy Cat's thriving merchandise line is the obvious motivation behind this otherwise forgettable movie. The story is so piecemeal and cumbersome that it takes real concentration just to follow the meandering plot through Chrystal's social struggles, an ill-fated robbery, a developing relationship between Chrystal's mom and her would-be suitor, a magical Christmas wish, and a strange tale about a million-dollar dog. To make things worse, the flow is constantly interrupted by blatant plugs for the Grumpy Cat website, flashy merchandising promos, and repetitive urgings to tweet about the movie itself.
The movie got one thing right: Aubrey Plaza's voice-over is a pitch-perfect match to Grumpy Cat's snarky musings on her own notoriety ("Internet's biggest cash cat," she says proudly), the movie's questionable entertainment value ("Are you still here? You are? Why?"), and even host channel Lifetime's reputation (as Chrystal's mom confirms that the robbers didn't "do anything" to her, Grumpy quips, "That's a different Lifetime movie."). Thanks to the delivery, there are some funny lines from the famous feline, and it's always kind of comical to hear what might be going on in the minds of our animal friends. Unfortunately, the kitschy sarcasm isn't clever enough to fill the movie's length, and the bizarre story doesn't do the character any favors either, making this a possible survivor only among Grumpy Cat's most devoted fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the nature of fame. How is celebrity status assigned? What is the difference between notoriety and fame? Are all celebrities admirable? Why, or why not?
How has the Internet changed how we send and receive information? Is it a good thing that it's opened the airwaves to new stars such as Grumpy Cat? What, if any, are the drawbacks to having the world at our fingertips?
Were you surprised by all the product placement in this movie? Did it make you want to see more of Grumpy Cat's merchandise? Are you easily influenced by the styles and products you see in commercials or on TV?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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