Making the Grades
Jingle All The Way attempts to cash in on the Home Alone franchise fever. But fortunately, it's not the same movie. This quietly promoted film actually offers some fresh ideas -- and after seeing sooooo many awful Christmas turkeys, Jingle is a welcome change. Arnold Schwarzenegger puts a lot of heart into playing the typecast character of Howard Langston, a procrastinating, workaholic father who is willing to do anything to receive his son's forgiveness.
Having not followed his wife's instructions several weeks earlier, Howard is out amongst the throngs on Christmas Eve trying to hunt down his son's one desire | a Turboman action figure. Waiting in line with hundreds of other brainwashed parents outside a Minneapolis toy store, he meets Myron (Sinbad), a postman who is desperately seeking the same toy for his son. This provides the typical 1990's Christmas movie scenario as the two grown men (and many other adults) start acting like children as they fight to become proud owners of a Turboman.
It's no coincidence that this plot seems familiar. Christopher Columbus, director of Home Alone I and II , is the film's co-producer. However this time, the veteran of the comic violence style where children are the only characters with common sense, manages to create some truly comedic moments. I loved watching Schwarzenegger make his way through a children's plastic play area accompanied by the exhilarating musical score that predominates this movie.
Seeing the burly Arnold sweating over his five-year-old's acceptance gives this predictable film unexpected warmth. A few sexual innuendos and minor foul language may raise parents' eyebrows, yet in the end a positive message is presented as Howard and his son discover what is really important at Christmastime. This combined with some funny scenes, an energetic Schwarzenegger, and no really evil bad guys, made me want to cough up the change jingling in my pocket for at least a rental.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Jingle All The Way.
Given the choice of a great toy or time with your parent—-what would you choose for a Christmas present?
Why is it sometimes easier for adults to purchase gifts with money than with time?