A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Throughout the film, Bah Humbug dupes and comically abuses Mrs. Christmas. Repeated family tensions between divorced parents and between disappointing dad and his ever-hopeful kids. Ongoing deceits, mistaken identities, and tricks.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon credits show slapstick violence ("devilish" character pulls pranks on "angelic character using a saw and hammer, causing comic electrocution by Christmas lights, etc.). Jamal pretends to be a bounty hunter and stops a purse snatcher. Someone jokes that "Santa died." In a sort-of tense scene, a child almost falls from a tall Christmas tree.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some language ("bootylicious"); a couple of scenes feature women with cleavage. Gentle kissing between central couple.
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One use each of "damn" and "s--t," plus some sexual slang ("get busy" and "hook up").
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Products & Purchases
Visual and verbal references to Starbucks, Google, Sugar Pops, Enyce.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this fairly predictable holiday comedy includes some pratfalls and suggestive language and behavior -- especially on the part of the "bad" father. You can also expect ongoing deceptions and lies (between parents and children, boyfriend and girlfriend), some romantic kissing, a few cleavage shots, and some language ("damn," one use of "s--t," and sexual insinuations like "get busy"). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While it's not hard to see where all of this is headed, the movie fills out its 96 minutes with some especially formulaic elements. Nancy shares her hopes and frustrations with her best girlfriends (Jill Marie Jones and Rachel True); Benjamin hangs out with his best friend, Jamal (Faizon Love); and J-Jizzy has a goofy and compliant manager, Delicious (Katt Williams). This arrangement allows the adults to talk endlessly about their hearts' desires and self-images, while the kids are left -- more often than not -- to figure things out for themselves. When at last Benjamin confesses his inadvertent scam to John-John, the boy is rightly protective of his mother. Still, it makes you wonder why he's the most mature male on the scene.
And as if the plot isn't busy enough already, the movie adds two fable-icious kibitzers into the mix: "Mother Christmas" (played by producer Queen Latifah) and "Bah-Humbug" (Terrence Howard). As much as she wants this dull-as-can-be romance to go well, he wants to cause impish trouble. While you'd think that Latifah and Howard would be welcome anywhere, here their comedy is strained and their commentary stale.
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Our Editors Recommend
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