I'll Be Home for Christmas [1998]

Genre: Comedy, Family
Jonathan Taylor Thomas stars as Jake, a shallow huckster attending college in Los Angeles who finds troubles aplenty and, eventually, redemption on a road trip home in this youth-oriented Christmas vehicle. The action begins with Jake dumped in the desert dressed in full Kris Kringle regalia as payback for a scheme gone wrong, making Taylor Thomas the second Home Improvement cast member to don a Santa suit for film. (The first, of course, was his TV dad Tim Allen in The Santa Clause, for those of you who snoozed through recent Christmases.) With Jake stuck in the dunes, his stranded girlfriend (Jessica Biel from TV's Seventh Heaven) accepts a ride from his rival and thus begin the cross-country shenanigans that lead to a Christmas sleigh ride in their shared New York hometown. Look for Gary Cole (a.k.a. Mike Brady in the movie version of The Brady Bunch) playing another wise father. Although it may be hard for adults to buy the diminutive Taylor Thomas as a college student (and what's with the high school lockers at the so-called college?), Taylor Thomas and Biel have plenty of swoon appeal for young fans 10 and up. --Kimberly Heinrichs

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