A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that What She Wants for Christmas is a mostly light and fairly fun Christmas flick that features an almost all-African American cast. There are some light slapstick falls and fumbles and some bad behavior on the kids' part. There is some adult talk about relationships (the mom and dad discuss why they ended up getting a divorce) and a few obvious product placements (multiple references to Suzuki and YouTube).
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What's the story?
In a secret letter to Santa, Abigail (Brianna Dufrene) reveals the gift she secretly has been hoping for all year. Not convinced Santa will deliver, Abigail waits until her mom (Denise Boutte) goes to sleep, then waits in ambush for the man in red. Unbeknownst to her, Abigail's father (Christian Keyes), who's been absent for the last five years, has secretly snuck into the house dressed as Santa along with his elf-costumed assistant (Jackie Long) to make sure she has a magical Christmas. While Abigail holds Santa hostage, her father's assistant tries to determine what she really wants for Christmas, while neighbor Moosie (Lily Solange Hewitt) tries to enact her own plan to rescue Santa so she gets her presents delivered this year.
Is it any good?
WHAT SHE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS has a really cute concept and some adorable details. And it's refreshing to see a kids' Christmas movie that doesn't have all white characters. But unfortunately, once you get past the first half, the flick starts to fall a little flat. The relationship between the parents is mostly kind of sad, and the discussion of why the dad hasn't been around for the last five years feels a little too adult and depressing for an otherwise silly movie. And Abigail, who claims she's been perfectly good all year, seems a bit too conniving and bossy to be believable.
But kids no doubt will love Abigail's elaborate schemes for getting what she wants for Christmas. And there are some really great messages about the importance of working hard to get what you want. It's some moderately good Christmas fun but probably not a film you'll watch again next year.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes Christmas special. Is it getting the gift you really want? Or spending time with your family? What holiday traditions are special to your family?
What do you really want for Christmas? What gifts are you excited to give?
What's your favorite Christmas movie? Why is it your favorite?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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