Parents' Guide to

The Christmas Dance

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Tame Christmas romcom has religious themes.

Movie NR 2021 94 minutes
The Christmas Dance Poster Image

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This feel-good story directed by Black filmmaker Michael Arcell is a great pick for those who binge Hallmark or Lifetime Christmas movies. The plot of The Christmas Dance is so familiar that you could guess it without even watching the film: A woman from the big city goes back to her small hometown to learn the meaning of Christmas and finds love along the way. But that's the selling point of this kind of movie: They're meant to be uber familiar and comfortable, an escape from reality. You just know that, like in a Harlequin novel, everything in The Christmas Dance will end happily, no matter what.

But unlike Harlequin novels, which tend to focus on sexual titillation, The Christmas Dance is clean and Christian-oriented. The content is quite mild: There are a few exclamatory uses of "God," but there's no drinking or sexual content (except for a kissing scene), and there's plenty of talk about God's hopes for humanity and why Jesus should be meditated on during Christmastime. In fact, Sarah is a pastor's child and has spent her childhood participating in her father's church. Her love interest, Jason, is also a man of faith, which is one of the reasons Sarah likes him. While the movie's focus on Christianity might be a selling point for some viewers, The Christmas Dance is also likely to entertain more secular lovers of sappy Christmas films, easily scratching that feel-good itch. It also showcases an unexpected amount of naturalistic acting, with the main cast seemingly relying on improvisation more often than not. This works particularly well in the family scenes; you get the feeling of watching a real family interact with each other. Overall, The Christmas Dance is a lot of what you expect, but it also includes some unexpected moments of acting skill.

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