Dating Santa parents guide

Dating Santa Parent Guide

It's hard to find any Christmas cheer in this toxic relationship.

Overall C

Amazon Prime: Lucia is keeping her boyfriend secret from her daughter. When she's caught kissing him, Lucia tells Leo that her boyfriend is really Santa Claus.

Release date December 8, 2023

Violence B+
Sexual Content B
Profanity B+
Substance Use C

Why is Dating Santa rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Dating Santa Not Rated

Run Time: 98 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Rarely have I so much wanted to enter a movie, grab a character by the shoulders, and shout, “SNAP OUT OF IT!!” Do you really want this to be the rest of your life??”

Allow me to explain.

Dating Santa aka Santa Mi Amor was produced by Amazon MGM Studios, and directed by José Sierra, with the assistance of umpteen other people. You’d think that would be enough people to make the movie watchable, but perhaps it’s a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth.

If only someone had foreseen the unpleasantness ahead.

The movie opens with Lucia (Ana Serradilla), getting ready for a blind date with out-of-towner Sergio (David Chocarro). She’s running late and is flustered and stressed. Her angst over a simple dinner date is somehow not a red flag for Sergio, and they wind up in bed together. He cancels flight after flight to stay with her, and asks to go to her daughter’s Christmas pageant, but Lucia is hesitant. She tells him that if they’re still in a relationship in a year, she’ll introduce him to Leo (Olivia Duflos).

What follows is an exuberant montage of a year’s worth of clandestine meetings and the swapping of selfies of their successful lives - hers as an architect; his as a chef. As their one-year anniversary looms, Leo finds Sergio and her mother kissing in the doorway, and totally freaks out. (This is not out of character for Leo, who flips between horrible tantrums and saccharine sweetness throughout the movie.) In a parenting fail, Lucia doesn’t tell her daughter the truth; instead, she explains that Sergio is both her new boyfriend and also Santa. Yes, THAT Santa. He happens to have a (brown) beard and to be wearing a red chef’s jacket, so why not believe that he’s Santa?

As more than one panicked kid has learned, lies spawn more lies and Lucia is now well and truly stuck in her web of deceit – and she’s taking Sergio with her. Desperate to maintain the charade, she coerces Sergio to play along, dying his hair grey and going on a vacation to a resort where he’s the chef. The overabundance of Christmas décor almost matches the magnitude of the emotional manipulation going on between Lucia and her daughter and Lucia and Sergio, but not quite. There’s more lying to come, but I want to avoid spoilers and won’t share more details. (Can you actually spoil a bad movie? Asking for a friend.)

Red and green are the usual colors associated with Christmas, but in this film, the biggest color is red – as in red flags. Sergio seems totally oblivious to the many red flags thrown up by Lucia. Maybe he’s clueless or maybe he’s emotionally color-blind, but the result is far from festive. It’s difficult to find Christmas cheer in a story about a relationship built on toxic traits. For this couple, “marry” and “merry” are going to be mutually exclusive.

Directed by José Sierra. Starring Ana Serradilla, David Chocarro, Olivia Duflos. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release December 8, 2023. Updated

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Dating Santa
Rating & Content Info

Why is Dating Santa rated Not Rated? Dating Santa is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: A child deliberately squirts her juice box at someone. Children are frequently unruly and disrespectful.
Sexual Content: There is implied sex after a first date. A child is aware that she was conceived from a one-night-stand with an anonymous man: this story feeds magical ideas about herself and Christmas.
Profanity: There are scattered terms of deity in the script.
Alcohol / Drug Use: There are frequent scenes of social drinking. Characters drink to drown their sorrows. A main character gets drunk and causes a scene in public that makes her child unhappy. She is so drunk that she throws up.

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Dating Santa Parents' Guide

Why does Lucia go to such lengths to deceive her daughter? Why does Sergio go along with the farce?

What red flags do you see in this relationship? What advice would you give to Sergio?  What do you think Lucia could do to have a healthier relationship with her daughter and her boyfriend?

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If you’re looking for seasonal romances that feature more positive relationships, check out our review compilation, Under the Mistletoe.