Jackie Foster (Suvari), is a dynamic Assistant District Attorney and single mom. But when Jackie's estranged dad, Jack (Brolin), a gruff retired police officer, unexpectedly shows up at her door, they will be forced to confront old wounds.
A college student experiences difficulty in getting home for Christmas after being hazed by his friends. While struggling to get home in time for Christmas, he learns quite a bit about himself and the true meaning of the holiday. Written by
This movie's major flaw, other than the early release date in a shameless attempt to get the jump on the holiday movie dollar, and the utterly cliched writing that makes for scenes more sappy than a Vermont Maplewood, is the casting of Johnathan Taylor Thomas as the lead. Thomas, still his gravelie voiced, smart-alecky, "Home Improvement"-type self, just doesn't work with the material given to him. He's playing a smug pretty-boy with all the connections and all the answers, and he comes off more snotty than charming. Mainly because his one-liners just aren't funny. His smugness is un-amusing. There's no biting intelligent sarcasm, nor razor sharp wit or funny facial expressions. He's more like a spoiled 16-year old trying to be funny in front of dad's camcorder. Director Arlene Sanford, who's past efforts behind the camera have consisted mainly of tv sitcoms and hour-long dramas such as "Ally McBeal" and "Caroline In The City", does manage to pull off a few heart-warming holiday moments (aided greatly by composer John Debney's trademark gooey scoring), and even manages to make Jennifer Biel of "7th Heaven" fame interesting, mostly when she's in scenes without J.T.T. Kudos also to Sanford for casting Gary Cole in her film; even though his role is limited and largely unimportant, he's a talented actor who deserves more exposure than he gets. If it's Christmas Eve and you're in the mood to be pumped up for the holiday and sick of "Its A Wonderful Life", than "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is for you. Otherwise, wait for the next theatrical Christmas vehicle...without good looking teenagers from tv in the lead.
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