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I'll Be Home for Christmas

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: I'll Be Home for Christmas

Starring: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessica Biel
Director: Arlene Sanford
Rated: PG
RunTime: 85 Minutes
Release Date: November 1998
Genres: Comedy, Kids, Christmas

*Also starring: Adam Lavorgna, Sean O'Bryan, Gary Cole, Eve Gordon, Andrew Lauer

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows movie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

Curious coincidence: when Tim Allen of "Home Improvements" made a splash on the big screen, his movie was called "The Santa Claus," now his TV-son, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, dons the red suit to star in "I'll Be Home for Christmas." He plays a slick college kid whose nefarious plan to provide exam answers, using electronic pagers, to a bunch of jocks fails, and he gets stranded in the California desert wearing a red suit and black boots with a white beard glued to his face. Not only is his predicament unpleasant but it has unfortunate consequences. If he cannot make it home to Westchester by 6 P.M. on Christmas Eve, he cannot claim an expensive gift from his father: a red Porche. He's been avoiding going home since his dad re-married - perhaps in haste, he judges - after his mother's death. And, if that's not enough incentive, his girl-friend, Jessica Biel, is traveling home from college during the holiday break with his arch-nemesis, Adam LaVorgna, who fouled up his cheating scheme. Thomas accomplishes his cross-country journey hitching rides with various people - and learning more about himself along the way. He joins senior citizens en route to Las Vegas to see Tom Jones perform; discovers a van loaded with stolen toys, which he distributes to sick kids; wins a five-kilometer race and uses the $1,000 prize to feed the needy; and reunites a love-troubled state cop with his estranged wife at a roadside steak restaurant. All in all, we're supposed to believe that he becomes a better person for his troubles. Writers Harris Goldberg, Tom Nursall, and Michael Allin with director Arlene Sanford pepper a basic road comedy with sophomoric humor, including a farting dog. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" jingles in with a 3. Bah, humbug!

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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