"Flawed Christmas Parable"
What You Need To Know:
THIS CHRISTMAS has too many characters and too many subplots, but it reveals the warmth and conflicts of family life in an entertaining way. The movie also contains strong Christian elements, including a great dinner prayer led by the family’s new patriarch, Joe. The positive elements, however, are diminished by some immoral conduct by various characters. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution to moviegoers.
(CC, BB, Pa, FR, Ab, LLL, V, S, N, A, D, MM) Strong Christian worldview about family bonds with a great prayer before dinner, an extended church scene on Christmas Day, and a couple of strong Christmas carols with solid Christian doctrine are sung, but this positive content is diminished by some pagan content and an antinomian or lawless/immoral attitude about some moral issues (mostly concerning sex before marriage), plus man tells Christian church deacon, “I just don’t believe in your God” but the deacon is clearly a less troubled man than he is; 18 obscenities, one strong profanity and 10 light profanities; brief violence includes man breaks glass while jumping out window, two brief scuffles, two women fight in the rain, car deliberately wrecked, and man disarms thug and threatens him if he doesn’t back off; two scenes of implied fornication and implied adultery, some light references to sex and sleeping together, man cheats on his wife, and newly wed woman has not told her new husband yet that she has become pregnant; upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, man has gambling debts, lying, family conflicts, soldier is AWOL, two thugs put pressure on man to pay gambling debts, and family members keep secrets from one another.
THIS CHRISTMAS is a comedy about a large family with many secrets that gets together for the Christmas holiday.
For the first time in four years, Shirley, the matriarch of the Whitfield clan affectionately known as Ma’ Dere, has her three sons and three daughters visiting for Christmas. Shirley is ecstatic. The eldest daughter, Lisa, is trying to convince the other siblings to sell the dry cleaning business Shirley runs. Sister Kelli, however, is dead set against doing anything Lisa or Lisa’s secretive husband Malcolm want to do. Meanwhile, the eldest son, Quentin, doesn’t tell the family about the $25,000 he owes in gambling debts. The rest of the siblings have their own secrets, but so does Shirley, including the full extent of her relationship with longtime boyfriend, Joe Black, a church deacon.
Everything comes to a boil around Christmas Eve. Only their hope and faith in family bonds can pull them through the various personal crises.
THIS CHRISTMAS has too many characters and too many subplots, but it reveals the warmth and conflicts of family life in an entertaining, well-acted way. The movie also contains strong Christian elements, including a great dinner prayer led by the family’s new patriarch, Joe. These positive elements are diminished, however, by some immoral conduct by various characters. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution to moviegoers.