I'll Be Home for Christmas


I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)


Critic Consensus: Neither parent nor child will find any merriment in this mess.


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Movie Info

Jake Wilkinson is a self-absorbed college student who, just days before Christmas, awakens to find himself stranded in the middle of the California desert, wearing a Santa suit and a white beard glued to his face. The butt of a payback by the football team, who thinks he double-crossed them by not providing the correct answers to a finals test, Jake has to find a way to get to New York by 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and catch up with his girlfriend, Allie, who is on the road with school stud Eddie, or risk forfeiting the vintage Porsche his father promised if his son comes home for the holidays. As Jake desperately hitchhikes his way east, the people he meets unwittingly set into motion a comedy of errors as they look to Santa for help and advice.

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Gary Cole
as Jake's Dad
Eve Gordon
as Carolyn
Lesley Boone
as Marjorie
Amzie Strickland
as Tom Tom Girl Mary
Natalie Barish
as Tom Tom Girl Darlene
Kathleen Freeman
as Tom Tom Girl Gloria
Celia Kushner
as Tom Tom Girl Mama
P.J. Prinsloo
as The Brandt-Man
James Sherry
as The Murph-Man
Kevin Hansen
as The Ken-Man
Alexandria Mitchell
as Little Girl in Hospital
Eric Pospisil
as Little Boy at Bus Station
Cathy Weseluck
as Wendy Richards
Betty Linde
as Older Lady on the Bus
Awaovieyi Agie
as Service Man
Graeme Kingston
as Pizza Eating Santa
Ian Robison
as Mayor Wilson
Ernie Jackson
as Kenyan Santa
Kurt Max Runte
as Taxi Driver
Nicole Oliver
as Ticket Agent
Tasha Simms
as Parade Manager
Dolores Drake
as Fraulein Maid
Chris Willes
as Race Official No. 1
Nick Misura
as Groundskeeper
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Critic Reviews for I'll Be Home for Christmas

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (17)

This family comedy finds unearned laughs in old women and dog flatulence.

Sep 7, 2011 | Rating: D+ | Full Review…

Arrogance gives way to humility, making this an appropriate, if thoroughly cliched, Christmas morality tale that's sugar-coated with an attractive cast spouting sitcom-quality dialogue.

Apr 16, 2008

None of the cast comes off well, but they have little to work with, since the dialogue sounds like it was made up on the spot and performed without rehearsal.

Jul 21, 2005

A Christmas turkey.

Mar 19, 2002 | Rating: 1/4

Too sophisticated for thumb-suckers, but far too stupid for anyone else.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

It's all by-the-numbers stuff!

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
Mr. Showbiz
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for I'll Be Home for Christmas


"Somewhere between L.A. and N.Y. Jake found the meaning of Christmas" I'll Be Home For Christmas is a cliche family Christmas movie. The major theme is that of most, if not all Christmas movies; it's not about where you spend it or how you spend it or what you get, it's about the family you share it with. This one gets that message across with a cross country trip along the same lines as Planes, Trains & Automobiles.  Jake is going to school in California and hasn't been home for Christmas in a few years. His father wants him there though, so he tells Jake that if he's there by six o'clock on Christmas Eve, he'll give Jake the '57 Porsche. This is enough to make Jake go, but when some fellow students leave him dressed like Santa and stranded in the desert, he misses his flight and must find another way to make it to New York. As much as I dislike the movie, I'm not about to completely blast it like I probably should. Christmas movies can't be judged on the same level as other films. Most of them suck and by comparison to a lot of others, I'll Be Home For Christmas really isn't all that bad. Okay, yes it is, but it should at least entertain the little ones and send them off with a decent enough message; family is more important then material objects.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Poor with some elements added in, but if you were to take those elements out, then it would be a great film. It was well worth watching, and I recommend it! It's just fun for the whole family to watch during the holidays!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

believe it or not, thats not the closest JTT's lips have been to big fuzzy ball

Coxxie Mild Sauce
Coxxie Mild Sauce

Super Reviewer

Hilarious Xmas comedy film that I really liked it. Jonathan Taylor Thomas' character did great and funny things by helping people give them good Christmas spirits from California desert to New York when he was stuck wearing a Santa Claus suit and a glue-on white beard.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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