It left reviewers cold, but in the 26 years since its release Jingle All the Way has become a Christmas classic. Maybe because it’s so darn relatable to adult movie goers: a tale about a frenzied father hellbent on finding the perfect gift for his son.
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the workaholic dad who forgot to buy his kid the hot toy of the year, a Turbo Man doll. Determined to win his son’s admiration, he races around town on Christmas Eve trying to find the toy that is so popular it’s been sold out.
Formulaic it is, but you have to laugh at many of this movie’s antics, such as Arnold, in full Terminator mode, hollering, “Put that cookie down. NOW!”
A relative newcomer to comedy at the time (his fourth), Arnold gets to play superman, flying through the city and standing atop buildings with hands on his hips, emerging as a super action hero in his son’s eyes.
With its timely messages about consumerism, holiday shopping pressures, and buying a child’s love, Jingle All the Way is a family-themed movie that isn’t aimed at kids.
I enjoyed it.