A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The main character helps athletes cheat on an important exam and lies to get out of sticky situations (although he redeems himself later).
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the main character helps athletes cheat on an important exam and lies to get out of sticky situations (though he redeems himself later). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's hard to find a Christmas movie for younger teens that isn't too corny or childish; I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS may fit the bill, since it combines sentiment with age-appropriate humor. Adults may find this holiday story dull, but teens will probably enjoy Jonathan Taylor Thomas and his con man persona. Thomas is a surprisingly skilled actor, and makes his character's transformation from self-absorption to sensitivity believable and appealing. As Allie, Jessica Biel is refreshingly real, too. Allie isn't afraid to speak her mind; she tells Jake what she thinks of his bad behavior.
Although the story has no real surprises, it's kept afloat by Jake's rakish ingenuity. He's at his best when he's forced to dispense "hot" appliances to tiny tots, or when he helps a shy cop win back his estranged wife. Each episode along the way teaches Jake a lesson about being honest and helping others, and by the end of his journey, he drops the con man pose and lets his real self come through.
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