A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Conflicting messages about adoption. Story strongly, clearly favors the right of people who've been adopted to learn about and get answers from their birth parents because "everyone deserves to know who they are." But main character also eventually says that she doesn't need answers to be whole because the people who love us make us whole.
Positive Role Models
Eve is a good model for communication and teamwork. She talks openly and honestly about herself, listens to what others have to say, works well with Pam to find answers. Chris is a good model of patience, empathy. He understands Eve's feelings, helps however he can while being willing to wait until Eve is ready for the next step. He and his family are close-knit, loving, welcoming. Pam models perseverance, refusing to give up on her search for Eve's parents, but she uses some methods that are not quite above board, like bribery, sneaking into restricted areas, and removing and keeping personal medical information.
Main character Eve is biracial. Her brother, also adopted, is Asian and comes out as gay. Most of the cast is Black; a few minor characters are White. Family members represent a range of ages and body sizes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few brief kisses, a couple of almost-kisses, a few marriage proposals, and some mild flirtation.
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"Dammit" and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults have wine at holiday gatherings. Excess isn't shown. An adult suggests she needs a drink. A flashback shows an adult passed out on a couch and surrounded by beer bottles while a narrator remembers past excessive drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Who Is Christmas Eve? is a romantic drama about a woman's search for her birth parents. The only content of concern is some rare, mild profanity ("damnit," "hell") and a flashback that references excessive drinking in the past. The main character was abandoned as a newborn by her 16-year-old mother, and the main plot is the search for answers from her birth parents. There are a couple of quick kisses and a couple of almost-kisses. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This earnest story of a woman's search for her birth parents has some heartwarming moments and gentle humor, but it's got a few problems, too. One of the biggest problems is that although the acting in Who Is Christmas Eve? is fine, the cast just doesn't project a lot of chemistry. Another problem is the mixed messages about adoption. The movie's stance is clear that everyone deserves to know who they are, and that it's impossible to move forward without understanding your past. It makes no attempt to advocate for the privacy of those placing children for adoption, and Eve herself eventually decides that she doesn't need to understand her past in order to get on with her life. The complete absence of Eve and Andy's adoptive parents leaves a big hole in the story, too.
But it does generate a lot of warmth and may resonate with some viewers with experience adopting or having been adopted. Although there's very little content of concern, kid appeal is limited by the adult cast and story about people in their 30s.
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.