The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland Movie Poster Image
Faith-based Christmas romance is predictable but sweet.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 91 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

True beauty is inside you and is made by God. You're beautiful because of how you treat other people and because God made you special. Being beautiful on the outside won't make people love you; doing what you can to help others and treating people with kindness will bring love to you. Life is nothing without love and forgiveness.

Positive Role Models

Both Belle and Josh make mistakes but learn from them. Belle is obsessed with youth and beauty but learns that real beauty is on the inside. Josh keeps a secret but learns that he can't let his own fears keep him from being open and truthful. The main characters are all White, but important supporting characters provide positive representations African American women and Asian men. People in the background have a variety of skin colors.

Violence & Scariness

Loss of a loved one is touched on lightly by a wife and mother who died of an illness a few years ago.

Sexy Stuff

Some romantic dynamics, mild flirting, and a couple of kisses.

Language

Some mild potty humor from an extended sound effect indicating a horse is urinating. Adult diapers mentioned.

Consumerism

Passages from a Christian children's storybook called Beautiful Mable are read and some pictures shown. The closing credits provide a website where that book and other movie-related merchandise can be purchased. The Apple logo on an iPhone is briefly shown and a minor character wears an iWatch.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland is a faith-based Christmas romance with very little content of concern. Loss of a loved one is touched on lightly by a wife and mother who died of an illness a few years ago. The daughter, now 7, models a very positive way of dealing with the loss of her mother. Otherwise there are some minor romantic dynamics and a kiss, and some mild potty humor mentions "peeing" and adult diapers. Religious messages aren't overpowering but assume a belief that people are made special by God. The closing credits mention a website where movie merchandise can be purchased, including a children's storybook with religious themes that's shown prominently in the movie.

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What's the story?

THE FARMER AND THE BELLE: SAVING SANTALAND is the story of supermodel Belle Winters (Jenn Gotzon), whose career is in crisis because she's getting too old for the fashion industry. She returns to a special place from her childhood, a family farm in Georgia that puts on a Christmas fair called Santaland every year, hoping to find a bracelet given to her by her grandmother that she lost there. The farm, and Santaland, are now run by Belle's childhood penpal Josh (Jim E. Chandler). Josh is afraid that this year, Santaland's 87th, may be its last because attendance is way down from years past and the farm doesn't make enough money to cover the expenses. As Belle and Josh reconnect and develop feelings for one another, Belle learns to appreciate the real beauty in helping and being kind to others. But when she learns that Josh has been keeping a secret from her about her own past, it looks like Josh could lose both Belle and Santaland forever.

Is it any good?

Sure it's kind of corny, and it's pretty predictable, but this faith-based romance is also sweet with some genuine warmth and mild chuckles along the way. The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland drives home its faith-based messages, but they don't hit you over the head with them. Although tying messages about inner beauty to Christmastime is unusual, the familiar story finds a very comfortable path right down the middle and sticks to it all the way to the end.

There's nothing little kids shouldn't see, but the biggest appeal is likely to be for tweens and up thanks to the themes about physical and inner beauty. The romance is between two mature adults, and yes, they're saving Santaland, but Santa himself is only seen very briefly and has no dialog. It's not so much about Christmas as it's set during the Christmas season. There's some diversity in the cast, especially among background actors, and Corbin Bernsen is enjoyable as Gran'Poppy. Fans of faith-based worship music will enjoy a guest appearance by Beckah Shae, and country music fans should enjoy John Schneider's guest appearance, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland shows our attitudes toward beauty. How does what we see and hear in media affect our ideas about beauty? What does it mean to say real beauty is on the inside?

  • How does the movie handle religious beliefs? Do you think it can be enjoyed by anyone, or only by people whose beliefs are similar?

  • Holiday movies are always popular. What are some of your favorites? How does this one compare?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love the holidays

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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