Jake and Allie (played by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, of Home Improvement, and Jessica Biel, of Seventh Heaven) are going to college in Palisades, CA., a far cry from their New York home. When it comes time for the holidays, Allie wants to go home for a traditional Christmas in NY, with the snow, eggnog, and carolers.
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But Jake has a different idea and trades in his Dad’s ticket, to fly home, for two tickets to Coba, San Lucas (spelled right?), for a Christmas on the beach with Jessica. Turns out he hasn’t been home for Christmas since his Mom died and his dad remarried.
But Allie gets angry and tells him she’s going home for Christmas. Then Jake’s dad (played by Gary Cole) calls and tells him he’ll give him the 1957 Porsche if he’s home by 6PM on Christmas eve for dinner. Since Jake loves this car, as it’s the car he and his dad have worked on for years and rebuilt, he takes him up on the deal but doesn’t tell Allie why he’s changed his mind to go home for Christmas.
Then, after a deal to help some fellow classmates pass their history exam turns sour, he wakes up in the middle of the desert in a Santa Claus suit!Hence, Allie thinks Jake has deserted her and accepts a ride home with his rival. His rival tries to win her away from Jake during the trip and even gets a kiss from her under a mistletoe, which Jake witnesses on TV, during a media coverage that highlights the Christmas attraction they’re visiting.
(If anyone out there has seen the Christmas movie, Mixed Nuts, with Steve Martin and Marilyn Kahn, this movie reminds me of that one in the style of the comedy and some of the situations. I liked that movie, by the way. Not your typical Christmas movie but funny if you’re in a mood for a light, Santa Claus type movie.)
I won’t mention the things that really bothered me about the movie, like his dad offering him a bribe to come home for the holidays (did I say I wouldn’t mention that?!). If I ever get that desperate, just lock me away!! LOL. The hometown, where they live in New York, is like something taken out of a Norman Rockwell painting, with carolers dressed to the hilt, snow, and the whole nine yards. Not very believable. There IS snow, though and it's so beautiful!!
The adventures Jake has, while trying to get back to Allie, and running into her and his rival, are pretty much what the movie is made of. Being almost run over by a distracted driver, entering a Santa Claus Mile run, going to a German Christmas village, finally "snitching" a ride in the cargo area of an airplane. His younger sister even tries to use her past birthday money to try to get him home. Adding to the problem is the fact that he doesn't have any ID on him. I won’t tell you whether he gets home in time and what happens with he and Allie, in case you want to see the movie.
I will tell you that it turns out that Jake is not as selfish and cold as this review makes him sound! The movie was a fun, entertaining and light Christmas movie. I enjoyed it in the context it is in and will recommend it.