I'll Be Home For Christmas

on November 13, 1998 by Karen Achenbach
   Likable Jonathan Taylor Thomas ("Wild America") stars as Jake, a schemingly entrepreneurial college student who wants to fly with his girlfriend Allie ("Ulee's Gold's" Jessica Biel") to Cabo San Lucas for Christmas vacation. But Allie opts for a family Christmas instead, and Jakes' dad ("A Very Brady Sequel's" Gary Cole) offers Jake a porche if he gets home in time for Christmas Eve dinner. Jake's attempts to do so are complicated by contrivedly wacky circumstances which find him glued into a Santa costume and left penniless in the desert by rival Eddie (Adam La Vorgna).
   This film might appeal to Thomas' core of preteen fans, but will likely not play well with the teenaged and twentysomething markets it's also trying to target. Thomas and Beil's college student characters look and talk like high-schoolers, and the script, peppered with obvious and/or falsely-ringing pop-culture references, is built on fantasy and improbabilities common in prepubescent entertainment. Starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessica Biel and Gary Cole. Directed by Arlene Sanford. Written by Tom Nursall & Harris Goldberg. Produced by David Hoberman and Tracey Trench. A Buena Vista release. Comedy. Rated PG for mild language and some rude humor. Running time: 86 min
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