Parents' Guide to

My Dad's Christmas Date

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Sweet but forgettable holiday drama has drinking, language.

Movie NR 2020 91 minutes
My Dad's Christmas Date Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

My 2 cents for what it’s worth

Very nuanced and realistic portrayal of the unique relationship between a grieving dad and his grieving teenage daughter. I would call it a bitter sweet film rather than. Comedy.
age 15+

Gritty realism

A film about a widowed father and his teenage daughter is unlikely to be a bundle of laughs. The story follows a very natural course, of grief concealed, grief that overwhelms, anger and laughter. The father/daughter relationship is tested and survives and the ending is unexpected.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Although this story initially has the potential of a Hallmark movie-style romcom, it's ultimately a bland holiday dramedy about a father and daughter's miscommunications and shared grief. In the opening sequence, there's a glimmer of charm in the banter between dad and daughter. And even the online dating site elicits a couple of laughs as Jules (impersonating David) reads through video messages from quirky potential dates wondering what his Hogwarts house is (as a sign of compatibility), expressing their love of competitive dog grooming, and, as the dates transition to in-person, giving obscure monologues about the meaning of art. This is all clichéd, but it's set at Christmastime in England, so it's easy to forgive the movie's cheesier aspects.

The problem is that there's never really any payoff for all of the formulaic bits. At best, there's a brutally honest conversation between David and Jules, but it's not enough to make for a satisfying story. Jules' best friend, Emma (Hadar Cats), is a welcome source of occasional comic relief (including a funny comment aimed at Game of Thrones fans), and Joely Richardson is underused as David's platonic best friend (and frequent drinking buddy), Sarah. But the the actors' decent performances can't overcome My Dad's Christmas Date's lackluster screenplay and lack of emotional punch.

Movie Details

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