“A Christmas Serenade” feels like a rare, tame holiday movie. But with a heavy focus on faith, a church setting, and quoting of scripture, it might be for those who grow tired of how Christmas movies have become very liberal and dramatic.
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Willow, Bishop Terry’s daughter, is the worship leader and sings lead in the choir, but increasingly that isn’t enough. She isn’t necessarily trying to transition to secular music, go on the road, or try to be the next Yolanda Adams. However, she would like a change and to be able to experiment and explore her craft in ways her father doesn’t let her.
Her ex, Jeremiah, feels the same. He is working with an R&B star whose sound is losing his luster, to the point of the label losing faith. However, since he still has screaming fans, he doesn’t care if Jeremiah doesn’t feel stimulated.
So when Jeremiah’s boss finds themselves doing a multi-day stint in Adventura, what begins as Jeremiah checking out how his parents are doing leads to him reconnecting with Willow, who isn’t happy about how their relationship ended almost three years ago. But, with her needing help to get the Christmas Jubilee in better shape, she begrudgingly helps him and finds herself reminded why she loved him at one time.
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member.
Willow is the worship leader who focuses on the choir and aspires to sing places beyond her father’s church, like her departed mother. Something that he makes difficult to do.
- The actor is also known for their role in “A Back Lady Sketch Show: Season 4,” “Christmas Party Crashers,” and “Pretty Stoned.”
Bishop Terry, the head of Trinity Church, with becoming a widow, has leaned more on his superstitions and fears, as he believes if Willow follows her mother’s path, it could mean her undoing.
A producer with a notable ear, Jeremiah hasn’t been home in over three years due to his commitment to being on the road, building a reputation, and working on his sound and that of the artist he works with. But, as he gets frustrated with his employer and gets lonely, a trip back to Adventura seems like just what he needed.
- The actor is also known for their role in “The Devil You Know.”
Stan is Jeremiah’s dad, who has taken offense that his son doesn’t visit or communicate much since he left town. Especially since they were rather close before.
- The actor is also known for their role in “The Kings of Napa: Season 1/ Episode 5.”
Unlike her husband, Dolores never abandoned Bishop Terry’s church, and she remains an active member and gives Jeremiah grace as he learns to balance family with work.
Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)
It Truly Feels PG And Made To Appeal To The Faithful
As anyone who has watched Tyler Perry’s rise through Madea can attest, sometimes movies and shows like to mix in religious characters, entice that audience, and then throw in many jokes and characters from a different walk of life. “A Christmas Serenade” doesn’t do that.
Is the R&B singer Jeremiah works for secular and has songs that imply he wants to make love to a woman? Yes. But it isn’t something that will make grandma clutch her pearls.
Heck, even in terms of what goes on with Jeremiah and Willow, there isn’t anything done or said between them of note. Do they begin to rekindle that old flame? Yes. But there is no pre-marital sex or anything of note that happens. This is truly a wholesome Christian, Christmas movie.
Parents Who Love Their Adult Children
While Dolores doesn’t hide her love for her baby, Stan and Bishop Terry you can see are challenged with having adult children. For Bishop Terry, while he still works closely with his daughter, you can see their relationship hasn’t fully evolved with age. Then with Stan, he is the type who thinks, while Jeremiah is busy, that doesn’t mean he can’t call or visit.
So, on one hand, we have Bishop Terry who, with holding Willow to a promise she made at 9 to work for him, is dealing with a stifling relationship, and in terms of Stan and Jeremiah, we got one where both sides have been too stubborn to reach out, and both can see the rift only growing deeper. Which, unfortunately, Dolores can’t be the bridge to.
Watching this helps give you some light drama, outside of Willow being upset with Jeremiah about how things ended before, that keeps you engaged in the story.
On The Fence
The Drama Between Bishop Terry and Stan
Unrelated to the issues their children have, Bishop Terry and Stan have beef. Why? Because of Bishop Terry’s garden gnomes. This spat between the two is so silly, and add in Stan not being religious, and it just makes your eyes roll.
Now, mind you, it does lead to a reveal of why the gnomes are important to Bishop Terry, which is sweet, but the nonsense that comes before the reveal isn’t even worth soliciting a chuckle.
Who Is This For?
Those who want holiday movies that don’t have innuendo, drama dealing with who is with who, when, and what are they doing when they think no one is looking, but something that is wholesome and enjoyable.
Roger M. Bobb
Based On Work By
How To Watch
1 Hour 40 Minutes
Noted Characters and Cast
Glen Michael Grant
Content Rating Explanation
- Dialog: Nothing notable
- Violence: Nothing notable
- Sexual Content: Nothing notable
- Miscellaneous: Nothing notable
If you like this movie, we recommend:
- The Sound of Christmas (2022): Slightly more risque but still very much rooted in faith
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Let us know your thoughts in the comments:
- Do you prefer your holiday movies focusing on faith and family, or do you prefer them a bit more diverse in their appeal?
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A Christmas Serenade (2023) – Movie Review
When it comes to “A Christmas Serenade,” it feels like a palate cleanse, considering it has drama but nothing eye-opening, and it’s not only rooted in reality but also faith.
The Drama Between Bishop Terry and Stan - 76%
Parents Who Love Their Adult Children - 81%
It Truly Feels PG And Made To Appeal To The Faithful - 83%
- It Truly Feels PG And Made To Appeal To The Faithful
- Parents Who Love Their Adult Children
- The Drama Between Bishop Terry and Stan