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I’ll be home for Christmas (1998)

 Directed by Arlene Sanford Screenplay by Tom Nursall & Harris Goldberg

  Ah yes, let the laughing commence as I still own something from my youth. Wait a second…forget that! Yes, stashed away from that same childhood would be my small collection of N’SYNC memorabilia, (that I refuse to part with) my Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice) Barbie doll and my endless amount of “fun, family” films bought due to replacing their VHS counters. I don’t seem to mind the added excuse of getting to show my son and reason to revisit such films every so often. MAN, it has been a while since I’ve even seen JTT (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) in anything at all! But he was certainly a celeb crush and had watched Home Improvement for many years if only to see him. >_< Whatever, so I just blushed right now; don’t judge.

Though childhood crushes aside, JTT and Disney should be enough in letting you know just how cheesy the film really is. What is supposed to be about these students in College, the entire thing felt and had the appeal of a High School movie. If anything, they should have just made it a Private school and the story still could have worked. Jake (Jonathan) being somewhat of a sweet talker around campus and having a way of getting himself out of trouble. With Christmas approaching, everyone seems to be in a hurry to get back home except for him. His father (Gary Cole; didn’t even get a name!) wanting nothing more than his son to be with them so badly that he makes a deal of a lifetime. His 1957 Porsche, free of charge, if able to make it by Christmas dinner at 6pm. Why he wouldn’t want to spend time with that family, I don’t know. The fact that Jake’s father remarried 10 months after his mother passed away not sitting well and making it easy to not make yearly visits. Though the proposition certainly makes him have a change of heart which couldn’t be any better timing. Since girlfriend Allie (Jessica Biel) had just been disappointed at him not wanting to spend the holiday with family and offered a vacation for just the two in the islands. That could be nice too, no?

Never fear however as cock blocker (can I say that in a family review? Oh well) extraordinaire Eddie, (Adam LaVorgna) has a plan of his own with his eyes on Allie. Pulling a stunt that causes Jake to wake up in the middle of the desert, wearing a santa suit with the hat and beard glued on. As he conveniently waited near Allie to offer/plead to give her a ride home. With rules being set and stating able to punch him whenever acting up, yes…as though nothing more than a dog. Insert the fun and fancy free times of Jake masquerading as he travels from L.A. to New York and learns the true meaning of christmas spirit. Cheesy? Oh like you wouldn’t believe. At the end he picks up Allie in a horse-drawn carriage and watches his family eat while waiting for the clock to pass 6, knowing he didn’t actually deserve the car to begin with. But looking forward to getting it ready over the next 30 christmas’ as suggested by his father, to catch up on that quality time which is also oh so unlikely.

Yeah and the holiday song by N’SYNC played at the end wasn’t minded either. 😉 Andrew Lauer and Sean O’Bryan as well had small roles that were comedic and have enjoyed O’Bryan in several of his other films. While I did recognize Lauer from Caroline in the City, there wasn’t much else about that show that I did. Gary Cole as his father was certainly a nice surprise, I’d recently seen Pineapple Express again and it’s always quite funny to see the variations in just those two films. I mean, when Jake gets home at the end he jumped up from the table; do families actually get that excited to see each other because it sure looked unnatural. I don’t Jessica Biel looks much different these days, at least she didn’t mess this one up right? She didn’t really have a big role but was fine either way, these were her 7th Heaven days. Adam LaVorgna also worked with her on the show but the film I know him from is Milk Money. There were certain humourous parts but overall not something one can enjoy for years to come. Certainly another family film but aimed more at teeny bobber girls who are blinded by cute boys. Hey, he’s a whole lot better to look at than Bieber. **I also liked that this trailer completely paints another picture for the film that is very inaccurate**