A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
You can fall in love with unexpected people quickly. Don't try to please others before you please yourself.
Positive Role Models
Hillary can't see that her successful lawyer fiancé doesn't care about her as much as he cares about his career. A mom is hypercritical of her daughter and doesn't appreciate her many talents and gifts.
Violence & Scariness
A man dumps his fiancé because she doesn't want to drop everything in her Los Angeles life to move with him to Pittsburgh for his promotion.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A mother tells her grown daughter that the parents make love three times a week. Two strangers pretending to be engaged share a bedroom but sleep in separate beds. A woman with a rich husband is cynical in her assumption that all husbands cheat on their wives.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Holiday Engagement is a 2011 made-for-TV movie about a young writer whose fiancé dumps her in favor of career advancement. Feminism, personal fulfillment, and finding a good guy are undercurrents of a story about a woman in her thirties still trying to please her mother more than herself. When she hires an actor to impersonate the man who dumped her just so she can get through Thanksgiving without recriminations from the family, her life begins to change. The fake couple kisses, fully clothed. A woman talks about having sex three times a week with her husband. "Heck" is about as raw as the language gets. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While this movie gets off to a woefully slow start, by the second half the charm and competence of the actors surpasses the mediocrity of the script. Somerville looks and plays it appealingly like a newer model Amy Poehler, and Bridges as her hired fiancé has a deep likability and warmth. Together they help viewers forget the shaky premise, and the many ways in which Holiday Engagement rips off previous movies. Yes, Hillary is a plucky, upbeat journalist with a plucky and upbeat best friend to whom she confides the humiliation of arriving at Thanksgiving without a fiancé. But once Bridges enters the picture, they make the experience of witnessing the inevitable a pleasure.
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.