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I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

About The Characters

For the film to be a success, just the right young actor had to be cast in the lead, someone to capture both Jake's charismatic and devilish sides. "Jonathan is perfect for this role," says Trench. "He's funny and he's smart, but he's also a little mischievous. And he really comes of age in this film. Everybody's seen him on 'Home Improvement,' as a young boy, a member of a family. Now we get to see him as a love interest."

His "love interest" is Allie, Jake's independent-minded, strong-willed girlfriend, played by Jessica Biel who is most prominently known from television's "7th Heaven." "Allie's a 'no-nonsense' kind of girl," asserts the actress. "She doesn't take anything from anybody. I like that about her."

"Allie is the voice of reason," explains Tracey Trench. "The solid girl, the best girlfriend a guy could imagine having."

In the beginning, Jake and Allie could not like each other more. "She's charmed by Jake's character," says director Sanford. "But early on in the film, she gets fed up and separates from him."

Biel states bluntly, "Jake starts acting like an idiot. He starts making bad choices, and so he and Allie clash."

All of which is further complicated by Jake's rival, Eddie. In an effort to regain the status on campus that's been usurped by Jake, Eddie sabotages one of Jake's scams, then helps the football team get a little payback.

Adam La Vorgna says of his character, "Eddie's the bad guy in the script. But even then, he's kind of a likable guy. He's trying to be cool when he's not. He wants to get the girl, but he goes about it in a very goofy way."

Biel adds, "At first, Allie doesn't want anything to do with Eddie. He's kind of a slimeball. But as the movie goes on, and they spend time together, they actually start becoming friends. She finds out that he's not so 'Mr. Cool' after all, that it's a facade. From there they start to develop a friendship."

First and foremost, however, Allie is Jake's girl, even though they spend much of their screen time apart from each other. "Their relationship is sort of odd that way," says Thomas. "They really aren't together for a large portion of the movie. But the times they are together, you can see they have a very good relationship. They really do love each other."

"At the end of the movie," says Sanford, "Jonathan and Jessica performed Jake's and Allie's reconciliation beautifully."

"That's what the movie's about," concludes Tracey Trench. "Finding out what it means at Christmas time to get back to the people you love. And at the same time have a lot of fun doing it."

"I love Christmas," says Jonathan Taylor Thomas. "If we could celebrate it three hundred and sixty-five days a year, I would."

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