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'I'll be Home for Christmas' Review You're a Real Butthole

'I'll be Home for Christmas' Review You're a Real Butthole

I'll be home for christmas.JPG

"Oh dear God." I thought as I looked at the assignment list for the month and saw that my final review was I'll be Home for Christmas from 1998. I had vague memories of a film plastered with Jonathan Taylor Thomas' dopey face and an loosely remembered plot about a rich kid racing to be home in time to receive a Porsche from his ludicrously wealthy father. It was not a fond memory that I have of walking out of the theater at the tender age of nine years old and not fully understanding the new twin emotions of hate and despair that I was feeling at the time. I cringed as I hit the play button and sat down, hoping that perhaps I was remembering a different Jonathan Tyler Thomas Christmas movie.

Unfortunately I was not mistaken, and in fact, my memories of Thomas' face had dulled over time, and I'd forgotten that, despite playing a college student alongside Jessica Beil, he looks like a high school sophomore at best. This film is in the vein of all the Disney films of the late 90s on through to today, in which everyone is so well made up and so softly lit that even when they've just woken up and are suppose to be running late without time for hygiene they still look like they're in the middle of a photo shoot.

Jonathan Tyler Thomas plays Jake, a spoiled rich kid who's best friend answers his phone and takes his messages. He tries to convince his family centric girlfriend to ditch their folks for a beach vacation, and when he tells his dad, his father offers him a Porsche in exchange for flying home. Unfortunately for everyone that's ever sat through the film, Jake's rival kidnaps him, dresses him up as Santa, and dumps him in the middle of the California desert without food, water, or a map, because in the 90s bullies were also failed murderers. Jake spends the whole movie manipulating his way through the country, somehow always moments behind his rival who is driving his girlfriend. Jake eventually makes it home, not because he learned to tell the truth, or because the kindness of others saves him, but because he continues relentlessly to be a thieving, lying, manipulative prick until it all works out in the end for him because he's the protagonist and we love him. Que putting a bullet in my own brain pan.

The film isn't helped by the supporting characters. Nolan, a seemingly mentally handicapped criminal, almost runs him over. Max, another little helper, is essentially the cop version of Nolan. Adam Lavorgna and Jessica Biel play Jake's rival and girlfriend respectively. At the high point of the film's plot, Biel flatly states the maturity level of Jake's character, and then the rival stops in the middle of giving him a ride because he "can't do this much nice stuff for a person. I've got a rep to maintain."

I don't really understand who this movie was made for. Possibly for the children of masochists, as the plot and characters can only be enjoyed by wide eyed babies, and there's not a single ounce of humor that an adult might find humorous. And since, by the end of the film, Jake's final desperate act of stealing a horse drawn sleigh is repayed by him getting his girl back and befriending a parade full of incredibly forgiving people dressed as presents, it's pretty obvious that there's no character development or awareness of consequences. If you're looking for a Christmas movie that adequately depicts a main character that overcomes their worst self in order to save the holiday, just watch Die Hard and forget I'll be Home for Christmas ever existed.

Final Say: For the Love of all Things Holy, Skip It

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