5.4/10
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55 user 37 critic

I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

A college student faces an impossible journey when he is left stranded in the desert, thousands of miles from home, with no money and only a few days left until Christmas.

Director:

Arlene Sanford

Writers:

Tom Nursall (screenplay), Harris Goldberg (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Taylor Thomas ... Jake
Jessica Biel ... Allie
Adam LaVorgna ... Eddie
Gary Cole ... Jake's Dad
Eve Gordon ... Carolyn
Lauren Maltby Lauren Maltby ... Tracey
Andrew Lauer ... Nolan
Sean O'Bryan ... Max
Lesley Boone ... Marjorie
Amzie Strickland Amzie Strickland ... Tom Tom Girl Mary
Natalie Barish Natalie Barish ... Tom Tom Girl Darlene
Mark de la Cruz Mark de la Cruz ... Esteban (as Mark De La Cruz)
Kathleen Freeman ... Tom Tom Girl Gloria
Jack Kenny ... Gabby
Celia Kushner Celia Kushner ... Tom Tom Girl Mama
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Somewhere between L.A. and N.Y. Jake found the meaning of Christmas. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and some rude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eine wüste Bescherung See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,898,293, 15 November 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$12,213,678, 17 January 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the film's end credits, "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" by *NSYNC is played. 14 years later, one of the stars of the film, Jessica Biel married one of the singers from *NSync, Justin Timberlake. See more »

Goofs

In the very first scene, Ian is locked in a wall locker and passes Jake his mail, math test, and Dave Matthews passes downward through the lowest vent of the locker from the inside. When the locker door opens we can see that the lowest vent is level with the shelf, there is no way Ian could have reached above the shelf to pass those objects down through the vent. See more »

Quotes

Nolan: I'm an elf!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: I Won't Be Home for Christmas (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Up On The Housetop
Written by Benjamin Russell Hanby (uncredited)
Arranged by Charles Sydnor
Produced by John Debney
Performed by Jesse Dayton (as Jessie Dayton)
Courtesy of Justice Music Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

nice comedy-adventure, not spectacular
23 December 2002 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

Jonathan Taylor Thomas plays Jake, a college student in California who hasn't come home to New York for the holidays since his father remarried. The father makes Jake a deal he can't refuse: get home by 6 p. m. Christmas Eve, and he can have the Porsche they rebuilt together. One problem: Jake helps some athletes cheat on a final exam, but his plan is sabotaged, and 'Eddie and the boys' leave him in the desert wearing a Santa suit, with nothing but a note they signed. Eddie sets out to take Jake's girlfriend home. Jake calls her but there is a problem with her answering machine. Jake calls home for help but he has lied and schemed too many times before. It is his ability to lie that gets him on the road making progress toward his goal, but also into new jams. He sees Eddie several times (what are the chances?) but his girlfriend doesn't see him until the fourth time, and that doesn't turn out well. Of course, Eddie and Jake's girlfriend don't get along too well in their travels east. It's a fun film if not great. Jake helps several people, including himself, learn the true meaning of Christmas. Lots of great scenery in the first half of the movie, and a lot of the music is good, with styles including jazz and bluegrass. And the situations Jake gets himself into are quite funny. Have you ever seen a 5K race where all the entrants are dressed like Santa? It's a family film with a little off-color humor (I saw the edited version, so no bad language to speak of).


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