A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Family love and unity is stressed throughout the movie, with nods to the importance of spending time together and enjoying each other's company.
Positive Role Models
Main character Pete is loving and loyal toward his family, even though he's sometimes impatient with their foibles. His family, including a mom and a dad, two brothers, and a grandpa, are close, though they sometimes argue.
Violence & Scariness
Pete has snowball fights, and teens play football without helmets.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The pretty girl next-door is Pete's love interest, and they make friends and flirt.
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No cursing, but a few insults: "You dork!"
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pete's Christmas is a gentle movie about a teen who repeats Christmas day until he learns lessons about love and kindness. This movie is squeaky-clean enough for every member of the family, and, since it includes characters ranging in age from grade schoolers to a grandpa, it has someone for viewers of various ages to relate to. Pete and the girl next-door flirt, and he tries to win her attention in respectful, friendly ways, such as learning her favorite Christmas carol on his guitar. Family members are kind and loving toward each other, though Pete and his older teen brother occasionally trade insults ("Dork!"). The only scene that will make parents wince is one in which teen boys play football and crash into each other thunderously; everything else is suitable for whole-family viewing, particularly during winter holiday vacations.
Is It Any Good?
The plot device of having a character relive a certain significant day until he learns whatever lessons fate is trying to teach him was a new one when it was used in Groundhog Day. By this point, the idea lacks a certain freshness. Nonetheless, those who haven't seen Groundhog Day (like, for instance, kids and teens), won't realize that this has been done before (and funnier) elsewhere, and will appreciate the cleverness of having Zach slowly learn the guitar or football moves as his day repeats.
Certainly the cast is charming enough, particularly Gordon as Pete. Clever move, Walden, casting a young beloved actor in the main role and a beloved older actor (Bruce Dern) as Grandpa. Otherwise, the characters are mostly forgettable. Still, watching Gordon and Dern bond as grandpa and grandson is the kind of holiday sweetness that's perfect for a family lazing away a few hours between turkey and pumpkin pie.
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.