I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Christmas1So great was my JTT fever that I begged my mom to get this movie on pay-per-view, which means I saw it in like the summer. And I loved JTT so much that I wasn’t even jealous that it wasn’t Christmas in my world. I haven’t seen this movie since that pay-per-viewing. But that’s all changed now. This is viewing 2.0.

So first off here are some things that were lost on me as a kid. I didn’t understand that they were in high school. It’s pretty obvious that they are boarding school kids, but when I was an elementary school kid, I thought that I was watching a movie about college students. And I’d like to assert that it was actually a fairly reasonable assumption on my part because JTT starts off this movie by buying tickets to Cabo San Lucas for he an his girlfriend (Jessica Biel) to spend Christmas. Even as a kid, I knew that romantic holiday getaways were reserved for legal adults. Or so I thought. But like apparently JTT is such a sneaky high schooler that he actually manages to secure those tickets and a three bedroom condo on the beach. It’s a Disney movie, so that must be why there are three bedrooms for two people.santa beard

Lately, I’ve been really feeling my inner 90’s kid. I think it has something to do with the fact that my brain is like “holy crap you’ve been around for a quarter of a century and what is happening in your life??” This has led to a large desire on my part to go back to kindergarten immediately. Clearly, that is not an option, so I’ve been embracing 90’s specific nostalgia extra hardcore lately.

So with all that in mind, I have to say. This movie is so 90’s. I cannot even handle it. I am 11.5 minutes in right now and I had to pause it to take a breather. So far the following things have happened:

  • JTT referred to the internet as “the net”
  • The cool kids talked about trying to sneak into The Viper Room
  • Jessica Biel has a Lisa Leslie jersey on her dorm room wall
  • JTT helps the cool kids cheat on their exams WITH BEEPERS
  • People have been using so many cordless landlines!!!
  • Robby from 7th Heaven is hitting on Mary from 7th Heaven but it is NOT okay because she is with JTT in this movie.

So Robby (for purpose of this film, Andy) so badly wants to get with Mary (for purposes of this film, Allie) that he goes full on sociopath and sabotages JTT’s beeper cheating scam, so that he can then rally the cool kid to kidnap JTT and strand him in the middle of the desert wearing a Santa suit. I mean it’s all fun and games until someone dies in the middle of the deserts all because of a beeper cheating scam. So anyway, the reason why it’s particularly awful that JTT is stuck in the middle of nowhere as Santa is that his dad has managed to discover the Cabo San Lucas tickets and bribed JTT with a 1957 porsche if he comes home for Christmas Dinner. Moreover, he has exchanged the tickets for two plane tickets to New York (since Allie got super mad at him for trying to sneak her away to Mexico when she just wants to go home to a snowy, family-filled holiday). roadtrip

When JTT doesn’t show up to go to the airport with her, Allie gets all mad at him for being a slacker. She isn’t into Andy, but he offers her a ride home and she feels like she should take it. I mean hello there is a MISSING CHILD and no one calls a police officer? See why I thought they were all adults in this movie?! When JTT finally manages to call his dad to explain his circumstances, his dad thinks he’s just making up an excuse and dragging his feet about coming home.

So from here on out when cut in between JTT trying to get to New York (for both the porsche and his girlfriend) and Andy trying to seduce Allie. Allie in this movie really reminds me of Jo from The Facts of Life, but I believe that she really does love JTT and is not in a secret lesbian relationship with her roommate. But like anyway, it’s easy to see why Andy likes her.) Also, their road trip features this non-“Barbie Girl” song by Aqua. Yep. I mean holy crap the 90’s, am I right?

Stop the presses! JTT just said “Yeah, no duh” non-ironically! And he says this while trying to reunite a police officer with his scorned wife. Oh my! But now that I’ve interrupted the flow of this commentary, I would like to ask a simple question. How come all of these teenagers are driving themselves home for the holidays? When I was in college people still had to have their parents pick them up at end of the semester. Where did all of these people get cars? They obviously come from super wealthy families. But like their parents are just like no it’s cool, honey, you drive home cross-country with a mere acquaintance and stay in multiple hotels. And I’m not even talking the obvious hanky-panky. I mean like I actually cannot fathom staying in multiple hotels as a high school senior and driving from California to New York. I would have lost my freaking mind with stress, and also I don’t think anyone would have let me into a hotel room. I think they would have called the department of social services.

Okay wtf someone just rented them the honeymoon suite! Okay, now I’m concerned about the obvious hanky-panky. He has been so creepy this entire time and now she is forced into sharing a sex-room with him?! Disney, like who are you guys?! But like I guess he is kind of sweet because she makes him wear all of his clothes (including his mittens) to make sure that he has to behave himself, and he’s totally game put everything on including winter coat and mittens. He also sleeps on top of the sheets. But that actually may have been so that he did not die of heat stroke.

ill-be-home-for-christmas-1998-12Okay, so JTT does a ton of obnoxious stuff in order to try to get home, but the most ridiculous (and the only one I feel super obligated to point out) is find a weird man who is about to eat some straight up raw meat and then passing that raw meat off as a liver that needs to be donated to Allie (at a hotel room) STAT. It’s pretty hard to keep all of this from Allie (the porsche, the fake liver, etc.) and she calls him a “butthole,” which in 90’s teen-speak I think means they broke up. But this gives way to Andy and JTT getting to ride the rest of the way home together and like it’s hilarious! Omg 90’s teen stars! (Also, why do all of these people live in New York and go to school in California? The have SO much money. Why aren’t they at NMH or Phillip’s? This is such a party boarding school, isn’t it. This is like the Faber College of boarding schools, isn’t it?) I got a little distracted and anyway JTT ends up in a Santa race. Why did I get distracted? I spilled water all over my untreated wood coffee table. Why do I have an untreated wood coffee table? Because it was free on the street.

Okay, so Wikipedia says that JTT participated in the Santa race because Andy decided that he was ultimately too jealous to be nice to him/give him a ride and then JTT had to enter this race because the prize was an airline ticket and he has to get home. But it turns out that the mayor always wins the race and gives the money to the less fortunate, so JTT gives him the winnings even though he won the race.

JTTJessicaThen JTT’s kid sister takes pity on him and buys him a plane ticket with her life sayings. (Um what happened to must be 18 or older to call?) But JTT cannot get on the plane because he doesn’t have ID. So then he like stows away in the dog kennel area I think…and manages to survive that…only to be tossed off of a metronorth train (how did he get to metronorth form the airport?!?) and then he finally makes it home by holding onto the roof of a car. Oh wait just kidding! Not home yet! Nope, he has to use a sleigh stolen from a parade for that. Well, this kid is just straight up squandering his chances of getting into a good college. But hey! He does eventually get the girl. And then he intentionally shows up late to dinner, so that his family will know that the car was not the important thing!

jonathan_taylor_thomas_jessica_biel_gary_cole_i'll_be_home_for_christmas_001*Oh and by the way Robby from 7th Heaven is actually named Eddie in this movie, but I had already written 1000 words calling him Andy, so I figured it was just easier to make this note at the end of the post. Also, I didn’t know where to write about this earlier, but there’s a weird scene in which JTT removes Robby/Eddie/Andy’s towel in the hotel room in what I guess is supposed to be an inappropriate power play, but also isn’t showing your girlfriend some other guy’s naked body like probably not the best move?

Very Special Lesson: JTT just commands an audience man! He’s so fun to watch. Sorry he wanted to leave acting and like study and get degrees and stuff. But he’s probably a better person for it. We should all strive to be more like JTT. And I think also something like home is for the holidays and cars aren’t as important as people?

Also, shout out to *Nsync for providing the credits music. They made a great holiday album guys.

I feel like I just wrote an Opus. Did any of you make it this far?

9 thoughts on “I’ll Be Home for Christmas

  1. YES. Love it. I was surprised how little I remember of this. But if you asked me I would have said it was a college road trip movie with Christmas. Favorite detail is Jessica Biel’s Lisa Leslie jersey. Clearly she’s playing Mary Camden and there’s a weird 7th Heaven alternate subplot going on. I have to see this again.

    1. That Lisa Leslie jersey may have technically belonged to her roommmate (who is on the basketball team) but it was near Jessica Biel’s bed so I am choosong to believe she is secretly Mary at boarding school. I mean she did disappear from the Camden house for a while…
      It’s on Netflix so I totally recommend watching it. There are a lot of weird characters that JTT meets on the road but it would have taken me another 1700 words to give them the attention they deserve. Also, pretty sure that the girl who plays his sister was Zenon’s frenemy when she was forced to move to Earth to live with her aunt.

      1. Yeah! Gross. I tried to look up my date with the president’s daughter on netflix but they don’t have it. They did suggest wish upon a star so that’s on now. I am also in denial about aging and want to live inside 1996.

      2. I have been asking the universe to let me live in 1996 a lot lately. It hasn’t worked. Oh well. My Date with the President’s Daughter was AMAZING! That has to be on youtube if it’s not on netflix. There’s a surprising amount of TV movies on youtube.

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