I’ll be home for Christmas reminds us of the real reason for the season

(Welcome to The daily flowan ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they watched, why it’s worth watching, and where you can stream it.)

The film“I’ll be home for Christmas”

Where you can stream it: Disney+

Field: This year, when you think of live-action Disney movies involving Santa Claus, you’re more likely to think of Tim Allen’s “The Santa Clause” thanks to Disney+’s brand new sequel series, “The Santa Clauses” (which will apparently be returning for a second season). However, the comedian isn’t the only “Home Improvement” cast member branching out into holiday movies. During the popular sitcom’s final season in 1998, Jonathan Taylor Thomas starred in “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”

Due to his father’s remarriage less than a year after his mother’s death, boarding school student Jake (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) has become estranged from his family in New York. That’s why he traded in his vacation plane ticket for two tickets to Cabo San Lucas as a gift for his girlfriend, Allie (Jessica Biel). But when she refuses to spend Christmas with her family instead, Jake’s father sweetens the deal for his son to come home: if Jake can get from Los Angeles, California to Larchmont, New York State before 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve for dinner. , then he’ll get his dad’s vintage 1957 Porch 356.

However, just when he’s about to join Allie on their way back to their hometown, Jake’s rival Eddie (Adam LaVorgna) exacts revenge on him by slapping a suit, hat, and beard on him. of Santa Claus and throwing him in the middle of the desert. And to make matters worse, Eddie and Allie are now driving east together.

With no money, no ID, and no way to contact anyone, Jake must find a way to trek across the country to claim his prize.

Why watching is essential

Celebrated as a teen idol at the time, this project marked the third live-action movie JTT starred in for Walt Disney Pictures, the others being “Man of the House” and “Tom and Huck.” Although none of these films achieved the success of his first theatrical role for the House of Mouse (where he voiced the young version of the main character in a short film called “The Lion King”), all three are fun family meals, which are exactly the kind of things my family usually looks to watch over the holidays.

But what makes “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” perfect for this storyline (apart from the fact that it’s about Christmas) is the message it shares. Along his journey, Jake from JTT meets people who value the relationships in their lives. In many cases, they come to this revelation thanks to Jake, like the thief Nolan who decides to face the consequences of his actions after seeing how brilliant he made Christmas for the patients of a children’s hospital, or policeman Max who is inspired to win back his wife with a grand gesture involving merry old St. Nick. Jake even secures a surefire way to get back to New York on time when he wins the $1,000 prize in a Midwestern Santa Claus race, but gives it up when he realizes the winner usually donates the pot to the Poor members of the community who don’t have a posh Christmas Eve dinner awaiting them.

Over the course of the film, Jake slowly realizes that material things are nice, but the real precious things in this world are the people you meet throughout your life and the connections you make with them.

where the light of love shines

At the start of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” Jake imagines himself to be a lovable Ferris Bueller-type scamp who is constantly trying to get out of situations. In reality, he’s a selfish jerk who doesn’t trust his girlfriend. Seriously, he should have known nothing was going on between her and Eddie. However, over the course of 86 minutes, he sees the error of his ways and decides to spend time with his family instead of accepting his coveted car.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have what Jake has in their life and it can be quite lonely for some people this time of year. Even the Bing Crosby song that this movie is named for ends on a wistful note as the person singing says, “I’ll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams.” But no matter how you define family in your life, it’s always important to cherish your loved ones while you can. And if you need a light and fun encore, then “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is the movie for you.

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