Assisting the Assistant DA at Christmas
Christmas is coming and Jackie Foster (Mena Suvari - American Reunion), an assistant district attorney as well as a single mum, is super busy trying to wrap up her workload before the holidays. On top of that she not only has her daughter, Gracie (Giselle Eisenberg), to look after but there is also her handsome boyfriend the confident detective Mike Kelly (John Reardon - The Christmas Secret) who is part of her life even though they initially didn't get on. Another man also enters Jackie's life, her former cop father, Jack (James Brolin - Christmas with Tucker), who left town to travel around a few years back and hasn't returned since. But having planned to spend just a day in town Jack finds himself being persuaded to stay longer and whilst things are frosty between father and daughter Jack's experience may come in useful.
As Hallmark Christmas movies go "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is all about the cast and the nature of the characters. As such you have Mena Suvari giving us a pushy but likeable single mum and you have John Reardon delivering likeable, nice guy charmer. That is in truth the typical side but then you have James Brolin, who also directs this movie, channelling a bit of John Wayne as the set in his way but still wise grandfather with a glint in his eye and a mischievous side. But all three of these are outshone by Giselle Eisenberg as Jackie's daughter who gets the pick of the smart dialogue and does a nice job of delivering it.
The thing is that whilst "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is certainly entertaining it is also one of the most predictable Hallmark Christmas movies I have watched with Jack not only ending up bonding with his daughter but also his granddaughter whilst of course Jackie falls for the charming Mike after realising her current boyfriend is shallow and purely focused on himself. It is textbook stuff and whilst there is a subplot surrounding an old friend's son being wrongly charged with pick pocketing it doesn't cover up the movie's obvious side.
What this all boils down to is that "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is pleasant enough with a nice look, a pleasant cast and a scene stealing performance from Giselle Eisenberg. But when you get down to the brass tacks this is just a routine Christmas movie with a fun routine romantic storyline.