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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jingle Ballin' is a 2016 YouTube Red movie in which internet celebrity Liza Koshy, sad that she'll be stuck in Los Angeles for Christmas, decides to throw a huge party. There are numerous unfunny attempts at humor that reference everything from cocaine to female genital mutilation. The lead characters are self-absorbed YouTubers, and the minor characters are stereotypes (for instance, the weird and unfashionably dressed Midwest girl with the funny "oh yah" accent). This is a production of YouTube Red -- the channel's first Christmas special -- and the YouTubing is frequent and unrelenting. The lead character's parents are on a cruise to a place they call "Sexual Intercourse Island." A clueless older guy mistakenly gives popular apps names like "twatter" and "snatchchat." A song's lyrics tell of a "sexy Santa," and the singer likes his "candy cane" and "big red sock." A YouTuber gives lessons to his followers on "how to give your hair a blow job." Frequent profanity, including "f--k," "a--hole," and "s--t." This is a horrible attempt at a Christmas special that fails on every possible level.
What's the story?
In JINGLE BALLIN', Liza (Liza Koshy) is feeling sad because her parents will be spending Christmas on a cruise, and she will be stuck in snowless Los Angeles. In attempt to deal with the loneliness of the situation, she decides to throw a holiday party, and invites her legions of followers on her YouTube channel. Meanwhile, her best friend, also a YouTube celebrity, is being called out by his rival for not taking part in the viral "Milk Bucket Challenge" because he's allergic to milk, and her roommate, an unfashionably-dressed eccentric with a strong Midwestern accent, can't come up with any jokes to deliver for the holiday party thrown by the insurance company where she works. Liza is also afraid her uncool middle-aged neighbor (David Alan Grier) will crash the party with his uncool middle-agedness. Liza must find a way to pull off her holiday party without losing her mind or the holiday spirit.
Is it any good?
In a genre filled with more than its fair share of stinkers, this is, without question, the stinkiest of holiday specials. If the characters aren't cliched and unlikeable, they're self-absorbed YouTubers who are also unlikeable. Joke after joke after joke, be they quirky or cynical, parodic or profane, fails. Jingle Ballin' is so bad that it's outright maddening to comprehend how four people are credited with writing this script.
If YouTube Red's original content is intended to provide a place for internet celebs to crossover into streaming movie stardom, it's obvious that they're going to have to create content that is creative, original, and entertaining. Titles like this are proving that these internet stars are best left to their narcissistic corners of the internet.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about holiday specials like Jingle Ballin'. How have they changed over the years, and how have they stayed the same?
This movie was released by YouTube Red, and it stars a YouTube celebrity who got her start making videos on Vine. Why would YouTube Red choose to make movies starring people who are "internet famous?"
Do you find the humor funny? Why or why not?
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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.