18 November 2013 | rannynm
Even though it's a bit predictable, it's very entertaining with a good message
This is a uplifting, coming of age film. The story is about Pete (Zachary Gordon) a middle child who has the worst Christmas ever. He wakes up the next day and realizes...it's Christmas day again and again and again... Will Pete fix Christmas and have the best day of his life or will he be stuck in the same day forever?
What I love about this film is the cinematography. The Christmas decorations and snow look amazing. The sets create a great atmosphere for the film. I also like the story. At first it seems cliché - boy has a bad day and has a chance to fix it - standard issue. However, the pacing is different. Instead of it being just a few days of Pete reliving the same day, it feels like months before he realizes that he can affect the outcome of his Christmas. At first I didn't like this, but once I thought out it as a coming of age film I accepted the change. One think that was distracting to me is the writing. Don't get me wrong, the dialog is fine. I just think the set-up for the story is rushed. The writers wanted the story to go a certain way and forced it by placing the pieces together instead of writing as if the characters were living through this situation.
My favorite character is Grandpa (Bruce Dern). He's a grumpy man who doesn't want to get the cold shoulder this Christmas. I love how Bruce plays this role, how he wants to spend time with family. Sadly he wants Christmas to be like his dead wife's Christmases. In his mind, the family doesn't celebrate it right.
My favorite scene is when Pete tells his dad why Grandpa judges their Christmas. I pick this scene for one reason - the reaction on the father's face. He takes his time to roll through all the emotions and it's just perfect.
The moral here is, "It's not what you put in the box that matters. It's what you take out." No matter how much Pete recreates Christmas and gets what he wants, he stills feels that something is missing, something that is important in Christmas. Giving!
I rate this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 6 to 15-year-olds. Younger kids can enjoy the funny moments and the merriness. When you get a little bit older, you know the story is predictable but it is still a movie to get you into the Christmas spirit.
Reviewed by Keefer B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more youth reviews, go to kidsfirst dot org.