A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that My Adventures with Santa is a 2019 holiday movie in which a family on the verge of falling apart ends up at the North Pole to help Santa save Christmas. Most of the attempts at humor seem to center on belching or flatulence, typically from the elves. In one scene, a bullying teen skating on an ice rink pushes a younger boy so that he slams into the glass; the teen then calls him a "noob." While the movie centers on a family struggling during the holidays with an unemployed father and an overworked mother who seems to be putting her career over everything else, this premise is little more than a vehicle for a fantasy in which the family joins forces with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and a bunch of gassy elves to rescue Christmas from the forces of evil and learn the true meaning of Christmas.
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What's the story?
In MY ADVENTURES WITH SANTA, the Nolan family is going through a rough patch. While husband Josh (Patrick Muldoon) is unemployed, wife Valerie (Denise Richards) is overworked and seemingly more focused on success in her career than anything else. While the two kids, Sammy and Jen, struggle with their family's dysfunction, Sammy sends a letter to Santa, asking him to "please save my family." Shortly after writing the letter, Sammy, Jen, and Josh go Christmas shopping and end up in an enchanted Christmas shop with a magical snow globe. The snow globe transports them to the North Pole, where they meet Santa, Mrs. Claus (Barbara Eden), and all the elves of Santa's Workshop. They are soon joined by Valerie, and learn that they must help save Christmas from La Befana, a wicked former employee of Santa who has created her own bleak kingdom with evil elves after her toy ideas were constantly rejected by Santa. As the Nolans join the fight to save Christmas, they begin to grow to love each other again, but is it enough to save both Christmas and their family?
Is it any good?
This Christmas movie operates under the assumption that a trite, ludicrous, and disjointed holiday comedy can somehow be saved if enough elves and kids burp and pass gas. Even fans of such humor will find it to be a bit much. Also, My Adventures with Santa is a dumb story that tries to mix a family-in-distress movie with a Christmas adventure-fantasy, and fails on both counts. It's a premise so idiotic, there are times when even the lead actors can't quite seem to pull it off.
By the end of the movie, the only real definitive takeaway is that Santa was a little premature when he determined that fidget spinners would never be something kids would enjoy. That said, while those who are looking for a fidget spinner origin story to go with their holiday fare might derive some enjoyment from this movie, it's nearly impossible to imagine anyone else getting any Christmas joy from this experience. As if all of this wasn't bad enough, they even left open the possibility of a sequel. This reviewer's Christmas wish is that it never happens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Christmas movies. What are some of the messages typically presented in Christmas movies?
How does My Adventures with Santa show a family having a difficult time at Christmas? Do you think the film intended to present the problems some families might face at Christmas, or were the problems presented only to create conflict in the story?
Why do you think so many Christmas movies are made? Why do so many seem the same? What are some examples of Christmas movies that are original and different from the hundreds of Christmas movies that seem to tell the same story?
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