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Midnight at the Magnolia

Content Caution

A couple who are falling in love walk smiling down wintery sidewalk.


In Theaters


Home Release Date




Kristin Smith

Movie Review

Maggie Quinn and Jack Russo have been friends for as long as they can remember. Their fathers went into business together to open Chicago’s most famous jazz bar, The Magnolia, before Jack and Maggie were born. And over time, the two families became like one.

These days, while Maggie and Jack are living their dream as co-hosts on their morning radio show, “The Windy City Wake Up,” the family jazz bar isn’t doing so well. Numbers are down, and it’s only a matter of time before The Magnolia will have to close its doors.

But like a Christmas miracle, Jack and Maggie’s producer comes along with the offer of a lifetime, an idea that could help revive their parents’ precious inheritance. The only thing they have to do to turn things around, and possibly get a slot on Sirius radio, is introduce their significant others to their respective family members on New Year’s Eve. Live. For all their dedicated listeners to see and hear.

They agree, of course. But when they both get dumped before the big party, they come up with an even better idea. What if they told their fans on New Year’s Eve that they were together? Better yet, what if they shared a midnight kiss?  

Sounds easy. But Jack and Maggie will have to confront years of buried feelings if they hope to pull off the lie of the year.

Positive Elements

Maggie is a forgiving, honest, genuine woman who puts her friends and family before herself, always looking for ways to show others that they’re loved. Jack, while he can be absentminded and dismissive, is still a genuine, kind guy with a good heart.

Both Maggie and Jack have excellent parents, as well as family members who love them and set great examples. Maggie’s father is fiercely protective of her and encourages her never to settle for anything less than she deserves.

Maggie’s father says that you know someone is “the one” when he’s willing to face their biggest fears for you. Lessons about commitment and overcoming fear are present throughout the film, too.

Spiritual Elements

Maggie’s sister, Amanda, says of her deceased mother, “Her spirit is always with us.” Maggie and Jack’s family exclaim, “Our prayers have been answered!” in response to positive news.

Sexual Content

Maggie and Jack talk about their big “midnight kiss” in multiple scenes and joke about practicing the kiss. Everyone seems to notice that Jack and Maggie are meant to be together, including their significant others, but both of them deny their feelings. That’s probably because even though Maggie and Jack have both had their fair share of relationships, none of them have ended positively.

Couples flirt, kiss, hold hands and talk about their feelings for each other. Jack jokes about making out with a girl like “a ravenous animal.” A man proposes to his girlfriend and calls her the “sexiest woman” he’s ever known. A few women wear cleavage-baring dresses.

Violent Content

Maggie tells Jack that her dad might turn into the Hulk and hurt him if Jack isn’t careful with her feelings. We hear that Maggie’s mother passed away.

Crude or Profane Language

Maggie says, “oh my gosh” and calls Jack a “child” and a “bonehead.” Jack calls himself an “idiot” and refers to something as “stupid” once.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Various characters drink wine and hard liquor at a social gathering and at home.

Other Negative Elements

Jack tells a story about a time he ran through the halls in his underwear while in high school. Jack loses track of time and disses Maggie. Maggie and Jack lie to their parents and friends.


Ah, Christmas.

Well, not really. It’s only November as I pen these words. But not according to Netflix.

Midnight at the Magnolia is just one of many holiday-themed originals scheduled to land on Netflix during the 2020 Christmas season. Unlike some of the streaming company’s movies, this G-rated family flick is funny and virtually content-free. You could say Midnight at the Magnolia is like a breath of fresh Hallmark air.

Of course, there are some cheesy lines, a few kisses and mild name-calling, but those are really the only issues for this family-friendly original … just in time for the holidays.

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).