Christmas With You Parent Guide
The movie isn't Oscar bait, but it's perfectly pleasant and has some genuinely funny moments.
Parent Movie Review
Angelina Costa (Aimee Garcia) is a celebrity whose glamorous public persona hides creative burnout. Her record label demands new hits, but since her mother’s death, Angelina has been unable to write. Finally, she is given a deadline: come up with a new Christmas single in time for a release over the holidays.
Battling writer’s block and procrastination, Angelina makes an impulsive decision. Grabbing her agent, Monique (Zenzi Williams), she heads out of New York City to surprise a teen fan who posted a cover of one of Angelina’s songs on Instagram. Connecting with fans, she assures her agent, is exactly what her image needs right now.
Cristina (Deja Monique Cruz) is a 14-year-old diehard Angelina fan who lives with her father, Miguel (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and telenovela-addicted grandmother in a cozy house smothered in Christmas décor. Cristina and Miguel are delighted to meet their musical idol, who is soon snowed in until the roads clear. Angelina discovers that not only is Miguel a music teacher; he’s also a composer. As she peruses his music, a line grabs her attention, and she makes a proposition: what if they collaborate on a new song?
There are rarely any surprises in romantic comedies and there are none here. This story unfolds exactly as you expect, complete with shy glances, twinkling lights, glamorous gowns, relationship complications, self-assessment, and the essential happy ending. Thankfully, Christmas with You does a better-than-average job with the tried-and-true formula. The movie isn’t Oscar-bait, but it’s perfectly pleasant to watch. Aimee Garcia is well cast, with large, expressive eyes, but she’s also old enough to look like a singer afraid of aging out of the spotlight. Freddie Prinze Jr. brings a suitable amount of diffidence mixed with self-assurance to his role and is steady, if not exciting throughout. The script also manages to be funny enough that I laughed out loud more than once, which is a rarity for me in this genre. The music is uninspired, but, hey, you can’t have everything.
As with most seasonal rom-coms, the content is relatively clean. Profanity is limited mostly to terms of deity and sexual content consists of a kissing scene. (Some viewers will object to the super-low cleavage dresses and suggestive dance moves that are part of Angelina’s professional world.) There are also scenes of adults holding glasses of alcohol and Angelina and Monique are both shown drunk and hungover. Honestly, the thing that really drove me crazy in this movie is the sheer amount of Christmas décor in Miguel’s home - every wall, doorframe, and window are bedecked with lights, ornaments, ribbons, evergreen swags, or tinsel. Are the set designers afraid that we’re going to forget it’s Christmas or do they expect us to believe that a single dad or his aging mother have the time or energy to do all that decorating? Either way, it’s just silly.
If you can manage not to overdose on Christmas visuals, there is a decent enough story here about finding yourself, recovering a passion, coping with grief, and fighting the fear of new relationships. It’s a movie that celebrates family, friendship, and kindness – the whole, “Christmas Eve will find me where the love light gleams” vibe. Since that’s pretty much what genre fans want out of a seasonal rom-com, that makes this a win.
Directed by Gabriela Tagliavini. Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Aimee Garcia, Gabriel Sloyer. Running time: 89 minutes. Theatrical release November 17, 2022. Updated November 18, 2022
Watch the trailer for Christmas With You
Christmas With You
Rating & Content Info
Why is Christmas With You rated TV-PG? Christmas With You is rated TV-PG by the MPAA for substances.
Violence: None noted.
Sexual Content: There are scenes of suggestive dancing, one which shows women cleavage-baring bodysuits. Women wear revealing dresses that expose extensive cleavage. A woman wears a low cut shirt that shows her bra. A man and woman kiss.
Profanity: There are a half dozen terms of deity and a mild swear word.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are shown holding glasses of wine but not actually drinking from them. A woman offers tequila to other women who are later shown to be drunk and hungover. An adult drinks wine with dinner. Adults drink shots in social situations.
Page last updated November 18, 2022
Christmas With You Parents' Guide
Why is Angelina struggling with her career? How does grief affect her ability to write music and to be authentic in her life? Why does she tolerate a fake romantic relationship? Have you ever struggled to be true to yourself? What is the cost to you? What stops you from being your authentic self?
Since losing her mother, Angelina has been unable to enjoy Christmas. The holidays can be painful for people who are dealing with losses. For help in managing this difficult period, you can read the articles below
The Psychology Group: How to Cope with Grief During the Holidays
What’s Your Grief: 64 Tips for Coping with Grief at the Holidays
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