Movie Review – ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

On the 6th of November, my Dad wanted to see a Christmas film for his birthday! I saw no reason why not and we are getting close to Christmas time again. 😀 So, we checked out a film on Disney+ called ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’. My parents and I had a fun time watching this certain festive film.

‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ was released in 1998. It was directed by Arlene Sanford and stars Jonathan Taylor Thomas (whom you may have had heard as the voice of young Simba in 1994’s ‘The Lion King’ 😀 ). I think this is a Christmas film you can enjoy on Disney+ without taking it way too seriously.

I say that because this film wasn’t received warmly by critics at the time of its release and it became a box office bomb. It’s rated with 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet despite that, my Dad thoroughly enjoyed the film. I enjoyed the film too in a strange manner and I’m sure my Mum enjoyed it as well. 🙂

Mind you, I would do things differently in terms of how to establish the characters and what journeys they’re going on. Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ character could have been sympathetic and likeable compared to the charming jerk he started off as, before coming to realise the importance of Christmas and family.

The story has Jonathan Taylor Thomas playing Jake, a college student who attempts to make it from his campus in Los Angeles, California to his family home in Larchmont, New York in time for Christmas dinner in order to win his father’s Porsche. The main character’s motives can be dodgy. 😐

Yet somehow, as I watched the film, I could see where the main character’s journey was going to go. Like I said, it would be nicer if he was relatable and didn’t do underhand dealings whilst at college, causing trouble with his college buddies before he ends up in the desert with a Santa suit glued to his body.

There are a lot of goofy and loony moments featured throughout the film as well as goofy and loony characters. It’s what makes the film enjoyable for my parents and me as we watched it. It almost matches to how my parents and I enjoyed watching ‘Jingle All The Way’ with Arnold Schwarzenegger. 🙂

As well as Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the film also features Jessica Biel as Allie, Jake’s girlfriend. There’s Adam LaVorgna as Eddie, Jake’s nemesis, who tries to steal Allie from him. Eddie could have tried being charming to Allie and not more a jerk than Jake, causing a love triangle between them. 😐

The film also features Sean O’Bryan as Officer Max and Lesley Boone as Marjorie, Officer Max’s wife. There’s Gary Cole as Jake’s dad; Eve Gordon as Carolyn, Jake’s stepmother; and Lauren Maltby as Tracey, Jake’s sister. There’s also Andrew Lauer, a simple-minded thief who almost ran Jake over. 😀

One of my favourite scenes in the film is when Jake took part in a race where all the contestants were dressed up as Santa Claus. I couldn’t help think of the many Santas that appeared in ‘Jingle All The Way’. There’s even one moment where a Santa crashed into a signpost, which I found very funny. 😀

Even my parents laughed at that. 😀 In terms of the film’s music, I can’t recall if I heard the song ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ being played. I’m sure it was, but it must have been a modern version and not the Bing Crosby one. There were songs I recognised from the ‘Home Alone’ films being played. 🙂

‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ isn’t one of the greatest Christmas films I’ve seen, but it’s very entertaining to watch if you’re in a relaxed mood and not worried about taking the story seriously. I’m glad my Dad enjoyed the film when he saw it and I’m pleased I’ve been able to see it on Disney+.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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