It's certainly a shame that more films haven't been shot in Minneapolis-St. Paul. But in an effort to dig up some gems, you might recall a vague memory of an angry Austrian, younger Anakin Skywalker, and the Mall of America. That's right. Jingle all the Way, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jake Loyd, was filmed in the Twin Cities. And although it's not a gold star on the record of the Cities, it certainly is fun to pick out all the geographical reference points.
That's not to say the only value in the film is found in shouting "I know that place!" whenever you hear or see things like Lake Minnetonka, Mickey's Dining Car, the St. Paul City building, or familiar streets -- the parody of kids' action heroes was spot on, as were a few well-placed jokes, like the cry of "It's the Grinch!" when the police busted a Santa-themed toy trafficking operation.
The subtle call to Charles M. Schulz with Snoopy appearing in the Holiday Wintertainment Parade was a nice touch, as was the reference to Hitchcock's Vertigo, but the antics were often over-the-top slapstick, and some jokes ("I'm sweating like a dog in a Chinese restaurant," excessive damage to testicles) were just tasteless.
There were high points, certainly, and if you're looking for some mindless holiday entertainment with all your friends back home in the Cities (or if you're like me and want to show your new home to friends and family), crack out that old VHS player (or Netflix), and give this 3-star film a go-around!