12 Dates of Christmas

Common Sense Media says

So-so romcom has positive messages about redemption.

Age(i)

2
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12
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Self-reflection and a willingness to change are integral to Kate's ability to move forward in her life. She tries and fails many times before she gets it right, but the rewards of her doing so extend beyond her own happiness to those whose lives she influences. 

Positive role models

Kate starts out as self-centered and unyielding, which causes her to look past the harm she does to those around her. As the story unfolds, though, she embraces change and begins to worry less about herself and more about bringing happiness to others.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

In one scene, Kate puts on a form-fitting dress to try to woo her ex-boyfriend. A sweet romance develops between two people, culminating in a couple of kisses.  

Language

Sporadic use of "damn," "bitch," and "pissed."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, as romantic comedies go, this holiday-flavored one is quite tame. There's no sexual content to speak of (a couple of kisses is as strong as it gets) and only a smattering of swearing ("damn," "bitch," "pissed"), so it's a viable option for older tweens. The story's messages are similarly likable, as the main character is forced to reassess her priorities when she realizes how her actions have negatively impacted other people. It's not destined to be a classic, but this movie has some merit and, if nothing else, certainly will leave you in the holiday spirit.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

12 DATES OF CHRISTMAS centers on Kate (Amy Smart), a twentysomething with a life plan that hinges on winning back her ex-boyfriend and spending the rest of her life with him, even though that means disregarding the feelings of her blind date, Miles (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). But when a twist of fate causes her to relive Christmas Eve over and over again, she realizes that wanting a relationship and making one work are two very different things. Each time the clock strikes midnight and her day resets, Kate must identify where she's gone wrong and get back on track to finding -- and inspiring -- true love.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Borrowing a page from the quintessential time-loop comedy Groundhog Day, 12 Dates of Christmas works in a sappy-sweet, opposites-attract love plot that just happens to take place on Christmas Eve. This holiday tie-in bolsters what's otherwise a lukewarm story marked by a handful of funny moments and the requisite romantic ones. There's little that's remarkable about the story itself, but that doesn't mean the mostly predictable ending won't leave you feeling warm and fuzzy nonetheless.
 

If your older tweens are champing at the bit for a more grown-up movie and they can handle a smattering of similarly grown-up language, then this might be a good option for them. The relationship at the heart of the story takes some time to develop (hence the multiple replays of Kate's day), but when it does, it's because of mutual affection and respect and Kate's newfound patience with life's unpredictability. After a few missteps, she learns to be open to change and to be more aware of how she can have a positive effect on those around her, which at the very least is a good reminder of life's learning experiences and the possibility of redemption.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about relationships. What common factors do you notice in successful relationships? How do you know when you love someone? What are some age-appropriate expressions of affection that you see among your peers? What are your family's rules about dating?

  • How does the media portray love and marriage? Does what you see on TV and in movies coincide with your family's values concerning relationships? Why or why not? How much of the sexual content you see is sensationalistic? Do any shows attempt to reflect reality?

  • Tweens: Can you think of a time in your life that you'd like to repeat and change? What would you do differently? How would you benefit from the change? Would it help others? How can we learn from the negative choices we make?

TV details

Cast:Amy Smart, Mark Paul Gosselaar
Network:ABC Family
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Holidays
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of 12 Dates of Christmas was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 12 year old Written bylilacbunches October 24, 2013
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

funny comedy

It is a movie geared more for older family members. Little ones will not understand.
What other families should know
Great role models

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