A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's little to worry about in this holiday-themed made-for-TV romantic comedy. Strong language is nearly nonexistent (only one use each of "hell" and "damn"), drinking is sparse and mostly unobtrusive, and sexual content is limited to a few brief kisses. While the movie is likewise short on overtly positive messages, it's got plenty of warm, fuzzy reminders to appreciate the highs and lows of life and be thankful for family -- regardless of how flawed they may be.
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What's the story?
For twenty-something Angela (Christina Milian), the perfect Christmas would look like powdery white snow, sound like carolers singing in three-part harmony, and smell like ginger snaps fresh from the oven. Unfortunately for her, her holidays are more often dominated by boisterous clashes amid her overbearing Italian-Cuban family. But when a mysterious package arrives on her doorstep just before the holidays, Angela opens it to discover a beautiful snowglobe, whose quaint village scene epitomizes her Christmas ideal. With visions of cookies and hand-knitted mittens dancing in her head, she drifts off to sleep -- and is soon whisked away to the wonderland within the globe, complete with an ice-skating rink, old-fashioned inn, and horse-drawn sleigh. Angela is delighted to discover that the snowglobe town is overflowing with Christmas spirit, but when the two worlds collide, she must evaluate her own idea of perfection -- and choose between the perpetually happy (but unnervingly simplistic) Douglas and her down-to-earth neighbor, Eddie (Josh Cooke).
Is it any good?
While Snowglobe probably won't become an instant holiday classic, the magic-infused tale has a charm that will appeal to some viewers' sensitive, sentimental sides. Milian is a delight throughout, and she's supported by a well-cast group that includes Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos) as her oppressively loving Italian mother and newcomer Cooke as nice-guy Eddie.
With all the iffy stuff kept to a minimum (a few kisses, some inconspicuous drinking, and virtually no strong language), there's little here that will be new to tweens or teens. But the movie will be most enjoyable for older viewers who can appreciate Angela's struggle between the idyllic holiday and the reality of her imperfect family.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the media impacts our holiday ideals. Based on what you see in movies and TV shows, what are the holidays "supposed" to be like? Is that how they really are? How are you affected by movies that oversimplify issues or cast an unrealistically positive light on life? Do they ever make you feel unsatisfied with your own situation? Also, how does advertising affect what you buy (and ask for) during the holidays, from food and drink to gifts? Do ads change what you want or decide to give? How?
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