I’ll Be Home for Christmas (1998)
Directed by Arlene Sanford
Story by Michael Allin
Screenplay by Tom Nursall and Harris Goldberg
Starring: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessica Biel, Gary Cole
Jake (Thomas) is a smooth talker whose ambition gets him into trouble. When he crosses the wrong guys he puts his relationship with Allie (Biel) and his Christmas travel plans in jeopardy. Now he’s looking for help to get home on time.
Nothing dates a movie like seeing Jonathan Taylor Thomas (The Lion King) in the starring role. The Home Improvement star leads a cast that also includes Jessica Biel (Total Recall (2012)) and Gary Cole (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby). The story was created by Michael Allin (Enter the Dragon), with the screenplay written by Tom Nursall (Without a Paddle) and Harris Goldberg (Deuce Bigalo: Male Gigalo). The film was directed by Arlene Sanford (A Very Brady Sequel).
This is a cheesy story filled hokey references and silly moments. Despite this, it’s a fun holiday film that has enough charm to be entertaining. The dialogue is pretty direct, and doesn’t leave much question behind the direction of the story. Some of this might be attributed to the acting as well. While this doesn’t deviate from the obvious course of events, this one is fun and entertaining.
The acting in this movie isn’t bad. Jonathan Taylor Thomas might be a figure from pop culture past, but he could act. Jessica Biel and Gary Cole aren’t bad either. Together, these three carry the film with fun moments the solid performances. The rest of the cast is good, but some of the roles are really over the top. Overall, this one isn’t going to change your life with transcendent performances, but it will entertain you.
This isn’t a timeless classic, but it’s a fun trip down memory lane. If you’re a fan of Christmas movies I think this is a good one to check out this holiday season. I would also suggest this to fans of movies from the 1990s. I give this one 1.8 out of 5 stars.