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I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

Jonathan Taylor Thomas , Jessica Biel , Arlene Sanford , Hiro Narita  |  PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jessica Biel, Lesley Boone, Gary Cole, Eve Gordon
  • Directors: Arlene Sanford, Hiro Narita
  • Writers: Michael Allin, Tom Nursall, Harris Goldberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Unknown)
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 8, 2002
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Z1GR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,211 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I'll Be Home for Christmas" on IMDb

Special Features

Theatrical Trailer

Editorial Reviews

In the spirit of the season, Disney presents the hilarious comedy adventure that celebrates the believer in all of us. Jake Wilkinson (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), a self-centered college student, has one thing on his mind -- get home for Christmas dinner or forfeit the vintage Porsche his father promised him. Just days before his deadline, Jake awakens in the California desert -- stranded and penniless, wearing a Santa suit and white beard! Desperate to claim his gift, he flies, crawls, cons, races, bullies, and even sleighs his way east. But his nonstop mission turns into a nonstop comedy of errors as a multitude of colorful and offbeat strangers look to "Santa" for help and kindness. The closer Jake gets to home, the closer he gets to the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of family. I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is a trip your entire family will enjoy taking all year long!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie! December 12, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I'll Be Home For Christmas is a great movie for the whole family! My mom and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was romantic, cute, and funny. Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jessica Biel really shined in their roles. My favorite scene is when Jake and Allie are sitting in the sleigh together. I also liked how Jake changed from stuck up to sweet. I am planning on buying this movie but where's the soundtrack? I thought the music was great! My favorite song is "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" by 'N Sync. If you haven't seen this movie, buy or rent it today. You're missing a great movie!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great holiday movie for the whole family November 7, 2005
Format:DVD
I'll Be Home For Christmas is your typical fluffy holiday movie. If you don't like fluffy, feel good movies with happy endings, chances are you won't like this movie.

But, for those of us who aren't quite so cynical, this movie is pretty good. I don't really care for Jessica Biel's acting ability, so that's basically my only issue with it. On the other hand, I felt Jonathan Taylor Thomas (J.T.T. as he was known as by my teenybopper sister back in his heyday) was perfect in his role. (What ever happened to that kid?)

Anyway, J.T.T. plays Jake, a college (or prep school, not sure which) student, who is trying to get home for Christmas because if he does so, he gets his dad's vintage Porsche. Not only does Jake have the Porsche over his head, he also needs to make good with his girlfriend Ally, who after being stood up by Jake, takes up an offer of a trip back east with Jake's archenemy, Eddie.

What follows is Jake's cross-country journey where he runs into one adventure after another all the while being dressed in a Santa suit. All of which we found to be pretty entertaining! Of course, he eventually makes it home and he fixes his relationship with Ally and all is happy by the time the closing credits role. Ah, aren't these predictable holiday movies great? I love them.

I'd recommend this for families with children of most ages. My four-year-old actually watched this movie the whole way through. That's impressive!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Favorite! December 10, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
In 1998, movie makers came out with another Christmas classic and it was phenomenal. Johnathan Taylor Thomas played an excellent role in this film as the teenage Santa Claus. The movie is funny, hilarious and full of holiday fun. Your Christmas collection isn't complete without this.
The movie starts out in California at college where we meet Jake (Thomas) who is planning a vacation on the beach with his girlfriend (Jessica Biel) instead of going home like she wants to. So when Jake calls his family and tells him he's not planning on coming home, his father (Gary Cole) bribes him to come home. He promises Jake if he comes home, he can have the Porsche his father restored. Now he's going home! The problem is, his college rivals play a prank on him and leave him stranded in the desert with nothing and wearing a Santa costume.
So to get home, he hitches a ride with a theif who almost killed him with his van while Jake was walking on the side of the road. Then he comes accross a cop who asks Jake for help in getting his wife back. Jake does it because the cop promises to give him a bus ticket home if he succeeds. It's hilarious how Jake does it. Then, while at the bus station, Jake sees on TV his girlfriend with Eddie, who stranded him in the desert. "I'll kill him!" So he chases down Eddie and then ends up stranded again. So he enters a Santa Claus race and the winner gets money. Of course Jake wins because he's competing against old fats guys.
I'll let you see the rest. How will he find a way to get home? "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is a holiday classic. Johnathan Taylor Thomas played the best role of his career to date in this movie. He was funny and hilarious. The movie really gets you into the holiday spirit. It always worked for me and it will work for you. Merry Christmas!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids or adults January 16, 2007
By Dave
Format:DVD
This movie was a cute movie for the whole family. I would suggest it to add to your holiday collection.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JTT's last film before leaving for college! June 5, 2001
By Rebecca
Format:VHS Tape
This is Jonathan Taylor Thomas's last movie before leaving for college. I'm sure he'll be back in the business once he graduates, but until then, this is what we have to remember him by. And I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is great and totally excellent. It's about a college student named Jake (JTT) who has to get home to New York City for Christmas. When some arch rivals play a prank on him, leaving him in the middle of a desert wearing a Santa Clause suit and with no money or way home, he must find his way home so he can be home in time for Christmas to be with his girlfriend (Jessica Biel) and his family. I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is a fun, romantic comedy for the entire family. It's fun to see how Jake actually does get home. If you're a JTT fan, you must see this movie. Adam LaVorgna (who can be seen now on TV's "7th Heaven" with Jessica Biel, who also stars on "7th Heaven"), is also great in this film. The acting is terrific, and the storyline is cool, too. Definitely see I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS - one of the best holiday films in a long time!
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jonathon Taylor Thomas Tries, But He Can't Save This Film December 15, 2003
Format:DVD
Jake has no interest in coming home for Christmas and spending it with his dad, sister, and step-mother. But when his father promises him a Porsche if he's there by Christmas Eve dinner, Jake decides to spend the holidays with them. Only things aren't that simple. A scheme to help some jocks cheat on a final backfires, and he finds himself in the desert in a Santa costume. Now, he must use all his wits to get from California to New York before the deadline.
I remember thinking this film would be fun when it first came out. I was wrong then, and watching it again didn't change my mind. The problem is with Jake. Watching the guy lie and scheme his way across the country for an hour and a half to get a car is hard to watch. You're supposed to be rooting for him, but he's so despicable you want him to fail. And his supposed change of heart at the end is too little too late to redeem him. Because of this, the funny situations along the way aren't as funny because you don't care about the character.
Frankly, I find this disappointing because I do enjoy Jonathon Taylor Thomas's work. He's a good actor, but he can't raise the level of the comedy above poor. If you want to get into the spirit of the season, skip this and watch many of the other, better holiday themed movies available. You'll be glad you did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I love this movie! It has some classic Disney cheesiness, but it is a great movie, especially for a family movie night. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Footmuz
1.0 out of 5 stars Sad..
Got this over a year ago, never got to return it but won't work on ANY DVD player! Sad....
Published 6 days ago by Jessica Vittorio
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I love this movie. Its so good. I enjoy watching this all year round.
Published 2 months ago by Loveoldtv
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great, Thanks!
Published 2 months ago by Annie Tarr
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM FOR THE HOLIDAYS
seen it many many times and I just love it...one to be added to any collection....a great holiday film
Published 3 months ago by Joshua W
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
We like the movie and enjoy Christmas themed movies. Saw it many years ago and was glad to find it available for purchase.
Published 4 months ago by customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A must have Christmas family movie
This is very cute. I had it in VHS and so decided to get it in DVD. It is silly and predictable at times, but a great family movie to watch around the holidays if you enjoy... Read more
Published 5 months ago by NY reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad to find it.
I looked all over for this dvd in stores and was glad to find it. It's one dvd that will be used annually during the holiday season.
Published 5 months ago by JoAnne Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Classic
Everything goes wrong for Jake as he tries to make it home for Christmas! Finally he makes it home and the end scene with the Christmas Parade is the heart warming classic touch.
Published 6 months ago by Mary
4.0 out of 5 stars I'll Be Home For Christmas with Jonathan Taylor Thomas
This is a great movie to watch during the holidays around a fire in the fireplace with popcorn. The part about the grannies picking him up at a gas station was a scream. Read more
Published 7 months ago by nebbie
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