A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's important to spend time with family and tell people you love them. Care is shown by listening, understanding, and being thoughtful, not just expensive gifts and gestures. It's more important to like yourself than to make others like you. Acknowledge your mistakes and make amends. Money and success don't always make you happy. Compassion and gratitude are important character traits.
Positive Role Models
Brian is a greedy, selfish man at the start of the film, who puts his work before anything else. He shows little care for his employees, and doesn't make time for his daughter or granddaughter. Gradually he learns to show compassion and gratitude toward those around him, though it takes an ultimatum from Santa to do so. His daughter Michelle is a talented surgeon, who is hardworking, and puts the happiness of others before her own -- including doing volunteer work and showing unwavering love and encouragement toward her daughter, Harkin. This is passed on in Harkin's behavior, who says all she wants for Christmas is her mother to be happy, and is understanding toward her grandfather, despite his poor behavior.
Main character is a White man and the film centers on his relationship with his White daughter and biracial granddaughter. There is some ethnic diversity within the supporting cast, including Asian-American actress Diana Toshiko in the role of a successful woman looking to buy the lead character's company, and Black men and women working high up within that company. There is positive representation of a single-parent family, with the mother working hard as a nurse, but also putting her daughter first -- encouraging her and spending quality time together. A joke about an older woman's facial hair is both sexist and ageist.
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Violence & Scariness
A character dies in a number of ways (though is granted another chance at life each time). This includes a car accident, slipping on ice, being pushed off a ledge by a dog, choking to death, a sledding accident, a chandelier being dropped on them, electrocution, being hit by a truck, jumping over a ledge (taking their own life), and a heart attack -- though the deaths happen quickly and without gore. There is mention of a brain bleed and a hospital patient nearly dying.
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Occasional language includes "damn," "oh my God," in exclamation, and disparaging remarks like "shut your chimney hole." Comedic scene involving projectile vomitting and reference to farting.
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Products & Purchases
Benadryl allergy medicine mentioned. Mention of Cabbage Patch Kids. The North Face clothing is worn. Scene inside a toy shop where a child chooses presents.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol at an event, including a Martini and double gin on the rocks. Mention of taking Benadryl.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The 12 Days of Christmas Eve is a festive family comedy about a selfish, greedy man who is given an ultimatum by Santa to change his ways in order to get another chance at life. The main character, Brian Conway (Kelsey Grammer), dies in a number of different situations during the film, including slipping on ice and a chandelier being dropped on them, before being brought back to life. These "deaths" are often humorous, and don't include any gore. There is some diversity within the cast, including Brian's biracial granddaughter, Harkin (Uschi Umschied), and a potential investor played by Asian-American actress Diana Toshiko. Adults drink alcohol but not to excess. Mild language includes "damn" on a number of occasions, and there is a scene involving projectile vomiting for gross-out comedy and mention of farting. There are plenty of positive messages about the importance of kindness and family, which Brian learns alongside the need for compassion and gratitude. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's no doubting Grammer makes for a good Scrooge-like figure in this mash up of A Christmas Carol and Groundhog Day. He dials his characteristic grumpy exacerbation up to 10 in The 12 Days of Christmas Eve, acting alongside his real-life daughter Spencer Grammer as his long-suffering on-screen daughter Michelle, while Uschi Umschied is adorable as his spritely, wise-beyond-her-years granddaughter Harkin. The plot is fairly formulaic, but all the warm Christmas messages are there -- as is Santa himself -- alongside some fun meta touches and a couple of decent one-liners. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but Christmas movies rarely do and they don't really need to either. If it's fun and feel-good you're looking for, this should tick the box with the requisite amount of festive warmth and sparkle.
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.