Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this holiday comedy is marked by drinking, smoking (a main character talks about "needing a smoke," is often shown with a cigarette, and, in one scene, uses a peppermint stick as a substitute), and sexuality (multiple make-out sessions, references to affairs, and an implied encounter on a pool table). The movie bears little resemblance to its claimed inspiration, A Christmas Carol, and there's precious little holiday cheer to be had from the plot. Adults will find some humor in a character's cynicism about the meaning of Christmas, but it's not really appropriate for kids. Even less appropriate is a scene that astute viewers will notice practically spells out the truth about Santa.
Two make-out sessions, one of which culminates in an implied sexual encounter on a pool table. Dialogue includes references to "making love," and a man talks about his wife's infidelity (he caught her in a closet with another man at their daughter's school) on a number of occasions.
Multiple head blows with wine bottles and Christmas decorations, leaving the victim either out cold or seeing stars. Some fistfights, sucker punches, an all-hands-on-deck club brawl (bodies flying, chairs crashing, that kind of thing), and the ghost of a man walks around with a swordfish impaled through his chest, which led to his human form's demise. One scene shows a kid playing with a BB gun from a store display.
Occasional use of "hell," as well as "suck" and "butt."
The story's intended messages center on holiday spirit, spreading joy, and appreciating what you have, but most of the movie is spent glossing over Jack's character flaws in favor of a lukewarm subplot about a disgruntled Christmas ghost. A predictably happy ending offers some holiday cheer, and Jack begins to see the unexpected course of his life in a new light, which allows an emotional reunion with his daughter.
Brand names like Coca Cola and Sprite are visible on products in one scene.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Adults often drink beer, wine, and mixed concoctions in social settings, at home (with the stated purpose of getting drunk), and, in one case, while at work. Smoking also has a consistent presence, as the Ghost of Christmas Past is often seen with a cigarette in hand and in one instance is shown using a peppermint stick as one.