Mistletoe Ranch

image for Mistletoe Ranch

Short takes

Parental guidance under 8 (themes, lack of interest)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Mistletoe Ranch
  • a review of Mistletoe Ranch completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 21 November 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended due to themes and lack of interest.
Children aged 8 and over Ok for this age group, though may lack interest for younger viewers.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Mistletoe Ranch
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: General
Length: 90 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

It has been 8 years since Aimée (Mercy Cornwall) left her home of Mistletoe Ranch, after her mother Molly died, to pursue her career in photography. Prior to leaving, Aimée had become engaged to James (Jordi Webber), a ranch hand and a friend she grew up with. Aimée’s busy life in New York meant that the two grew apart. However, when James decides to cancel the annual Christmas Party at Mistletoe Ranch, Aimée rushes back home to find out the reason for it.

When Aimée arrives back, she is dismayed to see that no-one has been living in the main family home, which has been kept in wraps. Aimée also gets to meet James’s daughter, Juniper (Molly Belle Wright). James and Juniper’s Mum have been separated for some time but remain friends. Aimée soon discovers that the ranch is in debt and she is faced with the prospect of having to sell it. She also discovers that she still has feelings for James, as he does for her. Aimée has to make a big decision about what direction her life is going to take.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Christmas; Romance; Separated families.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

  • No violence was noted in this movie.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There is a female character who appears suddenly holding an axe, then just as suddenly disappears. She is also seen with a knife. Aimée is disconcerted by her presence.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned scenes and visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • There is talk of Aimée’s Mum, Molly, who died 8 years previously. Much is made of her famous Christmas parties and her loss is felt by all who knew her.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Aimée and James kiss on a couple of occasions. They also dance closely together, holding each other tightly.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Alcohol is drunk on several occasions, during dinner, at home and at a party.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Oh my God.

In a nutshell

Mistletoe Ranch is a romantic family drama with a simple story about the magic of Christmas and the re-kindling of a romance. There is no violence and very little scariness in the movie but parental guidance is recommended for under 8’s due to the nature of the film. It also probably wouldn’t hold much interest for younger viewers.

The main messages from this movie are that magic is something you make; and that there would be no surprises if life remained the same.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Celebration of Christmas
  • Joy and Hope
  • Kindness
  • Forgiveness.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Losing a parent is always hard to deal with. Different people deal with grief differently but the film shows that it always takes time to heal after losing someone you love.