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Christmas with the Kranks
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Reviews & Ratings for
Christmas with the Kranks More at IMDbPro »

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60 out of 71 people found the following review useful:

Overly bashed, you may actually enjoy this

6/10
Author: jaquesburton from United States
12 January 2005

Okay, if you've read the reviews and the comments, and seen the user rating, you probably are wanting to avoid this movie at all costs. But before you decide, I strongly suggest you read this. First off, many of the negative critiques have a lot of validity. This is indeed a flawed film. It however has become very popular to bash this film. Many of the more outrageous complaints about it seem to have more to do with the fact that many people seem to jump on a bandwagon, and not only deem this movie sub-par, but utterly awful. Here are the things that are indeed true. First, the movie doesn't really stick to a central message about Christmas, and how the characters should handle the bullying by their neighbors. Second, Jamie Lee is way over the top throughout most of the movie. She does seem to do a little too much screaming. Third, many of the jokes are indeed predictable, and might be rehashes of things you may have already seen. And finally, there is a real believability gap in many of the events that take place.

But there are definitely some redeeming factors as well. First, this is a family friendly film. I can't see anyone but the most extreme fundamentalist being offended. If you don't mind somewhat predictable, or exaggerated humor, there are a few fairly good laughs throughout. Also, although the message gets very muddled, it does end with a strong comment about selfishness and selflessness, providing a sappy, but feel good ending. (if you don't choke on the sugar coating.

Do I highly recommend this movie. Nope. But if you don't mind clean, sappy, family friendly humor, by all means go. I really think a lot of the truly nasty reviews stem more from a cinical and jaded perspective, as well as a tendency to jump on the bandwagon, than the actual quality of the movie.

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30 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Get exactly what you expect.

6/10
Author: abahb1
14 November 2005

This is one of those films that you can't ignore the obvious manipulation. Each scene is telegraphed a mile a way, with no real attempt to mark new ground. No, this film is exactly what it is intended to be; holiday good cheer and nothing more. In that respect, the film is successful and in the end, a harmless holiday movie that tries to help us forget all the real world darkness going on.

Tim Allen seems to be carving out a career with these Christmas movies. Though his performance is not even close to his Santa character, he still manages to put in a performance that has some memorable moments (the scene after his fat injection is a hoot). Jamie Lee is over the top and at times can be a little too much, but still, she fits right in with the rest of the decorations that are wrapped around this Christmas tree of a movie. I give it a 6 because let's be honest, it is totally predictable and corny. But as I mentioned, it is a welcome to all the negative things going on right now.

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37 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Nice little Christmas Comedy

8/10
Author: Garyuk-1 from Scotland
21 December 2004

My family and I went to see this film today and we all enjoyed as it seemed that most of the other people in the cinema did too. I think some of the comments here are a little harsh, yes the film is not believable but the fun side of Christmas is all about "make believe". The characters are funny, Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis are great in there roles, especially the bot-ox scene and the honey roasted ham scene. A one time or another we all would like to skip Christmas and we all have had the mad dash at the last minute to organise things. This film just takes all of those moments and pokes fun at them. It also manages to squeeze in a small moment of being aware that sometimes other people's problems are greater than yours. The film is full of different emotions and they all seem to work well, we all left with a Chrismas feeling as the last few scenes of the film are just plain old feel good moments that we all want out of to have. Just take it for what it is, a Christmas comedy and enjoy. I will be adding it to my DVD collection. 8 out of 10!

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

The first half of the movie is much better than the second half

5/10
Author: krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas
1 January 2006

The first part of this movie is filled with dark humor and makes a worthwhile statement: Most of those who celebrate Christmas do so because of the trappings, not because of the substance. The huge snowman that each family who lives on the block is supposed to inflate and put atop their house points to the frivolity of the holiday for the average observer. I haven't read John Grisham's book "Skipping Christmas" yet but the first half of the film seems to be pure Grisham. Luther Krank (Tim Allen) is something of an antihero declaring his own private little war on Christmas abuse, unlike Dickens' Scrooge who simply doesn't want to be bothered with the holiday because he's a miser and worships money. Nora Krank (Jamie Lee Curtis) on the other hand really wants the show of Christmas to impress the neighbors and not to rock the boat. Having her only child Blair Krank (Julie Gonzalo) away from home at Christmas for the first time kills her holiday spirit anyway. She is pictured as a doting mom who has spoiled her child rotten at the expense of her marriage and anything else not involving Blair. The second half of the film becomes a standard traditional type outing with Luther Krank being the scrooge-like selfish oaf who wants to spoil it all with his bah, humbug attitude. He comes around by giving the best gift of all to his neighbor whose wife is dying of cancer. In other words, the film cops out during the second half and with it the humor sours. A potentially funny holiday treat becomes just another lame copy of "It's a Wonderful Life."

There are some truly funny sequences during the first part of the movie. Note when Luther Krank waters down his sidewalk to make it slippery for the terrible carolers. Keep your eye on the neighbor's cat. The botox part is excruciatingly laughable with Tim Allen at his best. The tanning scene with the glorious Tom Poston as the Krank's priest is also hilarious. Too bad this level of humor was not maintained throughout.

The cast is well chosen with one exception. Cheech Marin is wasted in a thankless role. When given a chance he can be a funny man.

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19 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Have a Merry slapstick Christmas

Author: Douglas Young (the-movie-guy) from Memphis, Tennessee
2 December 2004

For the first time, Luther Krank (Tim Allen) and his wife Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) are about to celebrate the holidays without their daughter Blair (Julie Gonzalo), who has just left for the Peace Corps in Peru. Luther sees a Caribbean cruise poster in a Chicago travel agency window, and he begins to plan the trip. First he must see how he will pay for the trip, so he comes up with an idea that if they skipped Christmas, they could go. He will save money by not buying a tree, having a party, or putting up decorations. The neighbors think he is crazy and want him to at least put Frosty the Snowman on his roof for the local decoration contest. The battle begins between the Kranks and their neighbors. Then Blair calls and tells her parents that she is flying home for Christmas with her fiancée. They have twenty-four hours to put up all the decorations and prepare for the Christmas party. The movie was based on a John Grisham book, 'Skipping Christmas'. It is a cute Christmas story with a lot of funny slapstick sketches. It reminds you of the Chevy Chase movie, 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation'. Tim Allen does a great job in several comedy scenes, especially, the scenes where he gets bowtox injections in his face and the suntan scene. (Columbia Pictures, Run time 1:39, Rated PG) (5/10)

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Ho! Ho! Ha! Ha!

7/10
Author: Robert W. (Robert_duder@hotmail.com) from Ontario, Canada
16 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is nothing better than a great Christmas movie. Everyone can name their favorite and there is nothing more nostalgic than watching your favorite Christmas special every year. It remains to be seen whether The Kranks will become one of those for us, or for me anyways. Christmas With The Kranks which I was stunned to learn, the novel from which it was based, was penned by the amazing John Grisham and the screenplay by the equally amazing Chris Columbus was a fun, heart felt, and often laugh out funny Christmas film. It had it's shortcomings as the critics are shoving in our faces but a Christmas film must be given some slack for being a seasonal film anyways.

The story is The Kranks, Luther and Nora have had to say goodbye to their beloved Daughter Blaire as she moves on to the Peace Corp. Suddenly their empty nest syndrome kicks in and they realize their whole reason for having extravagant Christmas's is gone. Luther realizes that this is the perfect opportunity to leave it all behind and take his wife on a luxurious cruise of the Caribbean but in order to truly appreciate the Christmas cruise they will have to boycott Christmas altogether which sounds easy at first but they realize their Christmas happy neighbors, co-workers and town are not going to stand for it. Everything comes to a grinding halt when Blaire calls to say she is coming home for Christmas which changes everything. Now all they've worked towards avoiding they have to bring back, set up, get ready for and prepare the best Christmas ever!! Tim Allen is wonderful in this movie, probably the best of the cast. The character fits him so well and he doesn't come across as Tim Taylor which is always good. Jamie Lee Curtis who I love don't get me wrong but she didn't quite hit the note on this one. She was okay but she wasn't well matched with Luther and she wasn't given the best of scenes in the film, although her bikini scene was very funny. Dan Akroyd makes an unfortunately brief appearance as the "mayor" of the neighborhood who at first appears to be hassling them but in the end rallies everyone to their support. The movie dragged a little, it's slightly longer than expected and the beginning of it was a little off putting. It felt like it was going to suck basically. But it got so much better half way through and ended perfectly. From the moment of the hilarious carolers outside their house, the movie was funny, heart warming, and fun to watch. The dialog felt forced at times and some of the gags did as well but it was still fun to watch. Throw in some necessary Christmas magic, and a little heart warming moment of Christmas realization and the film is wonderful. I can't wait to see it again next Christmas. I often wondered if Grisham or Columbus wasn't trying to be a little satirical at parts with the neighborhood perfectly aligned and snow perfectly placed. It felt like maybe they were poking a little fun but nonetheless it's a great family, Christmas movie. I also think they should have stuck with the title "Skipping Christmas" but that doesn't effect it much I suppose. Check it out!! 7.5/10

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13 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

I liked this movie

8/10
Author: hannahmarrin from United States
27 December 2005

I saw the movie Christmas with the Kranks for the first time in theatres. I now own it. I really liked it. It was a light, funny, laid back movie. I don't know why so many people disliked it. I think that you have to have a certain sense of humor to think it was funny. I thought the plot was very entertaining and yes heartwarming. What's wrong with a heartwarming movie about spreading Christmas joy. Why is it so unrealistic? Is it really impossible anymore for people to be nice to one another? To be thoughtful. I think this movie portrays the values of enjoying the little things and simple things in life and perhaps this is why people automatically think this movie is dumb because they don't enjoy and embrace the little things and therefore they are quick to say these certain situations are unrealistic. All movies are a little unrealistic. So what. Like lord of the rings is realistic? come on folks. lighten up.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Read the book before assuming.

Author: Printboy from United Kingdom
17 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My only issue with this is the first critique of this film by the unemployed critic is that (I quote) "Just to shove that sympathetic feeling along, Columbus and Roth hand cancer to one of these 'I guess' unlovable characters, just to erase any doubt in the audiences' minds as to what emotion they should feel. It's disgusting." He also "comes clean" at the start of his review that he hasn't read the book, if he had, he would see that the cancer and unlovable characters ran throughout the book and as the story ends the reader is almost willing the same outcome as the author writes. I enjoyed the film and having read the book first it is interesting to see how someone else has interpreted the story and it seemed a fair representation of the book, with obviously the extra gags and "poetic licence" (esp. the Botox incident, which judging by the audience reaction was hilarious, I took my son to see this and he enjoyed it, but then he liked Home Alone too. I guess with all criticism, everyone is entitled to their opinion, that's what makes the world go round.

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Depressing holiday "comedy"

1/10
Author: Moonhawk1975 (moonhawk1975@yahoo.com) from United States
10 April 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

How can you go wrong with a holiday movie that pairs Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis? Director Joe Roth has found a way. Based on the novel "Skipping Christmas" by John Grisham, the movie centers around a couple (Allen, Curtis), depressed because their daughter will not be home for Christmas, who decide to skip the celebration and take a cruise instead. While I admit I would've still decorated, the movie goes overboard in the reactions of the neighbors (led by Dan Aykroyd). Turning into Christmas Nazis, they begin stalking and harassing the pair to try to get them to decorate. I was not aware Christmas spirit meant decorate at all costs. I don't find the humor in the characters here who believe so.

Making matters worse, about halfway through the movie, when the Kranks change their minds, it seems more like they did so out of giving in than because they wanted to. And their reason for changing their mind is preposterous: the daughter has gotten engaged to a man from Peru and wants to bring him home for Christmas. She goes on to explain to her mother that he has never seen a snowy Christmas because he spends it in Peru every year with his family. Why would she go through all the trouble of making last-minute changes to take him away from this tradition…when she was already in Peru? I guess it fits the rest of the movie: everyone is centered on themselves.

Allen and Curtis are the best things about the movie, but the scene of her in that tanning salon in the shopping mall is the least funny in a movie full of dead jokes. We even get a Santa Claus finale that does not fit the tone of what came before. Good job, Roth! You've made the worst Christmas movie of all time. Bring on "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!" Please.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Skip Skipping Christmas

1/10
Author: thesar-2 from United States
5 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Damn. Damn damn. 'Christmas with the Kranks' is absolutely one of the worst movies I've ever, EVER seen. The book's title is 'Skipping Christmas' and I can see why they changed it: so no one had the bright idea of skipping this movie. In fact, the best line was one of the last ones spoken: "Skipping Christmas…what a stupid idea." Yes. Yes, it was. The movie started bad, got progressively worse, and I stayed watching to see how much further down into hell they'd venture. I will say this that separates this from the rest: it has the absolute worst concept for a film. Mr. & Mrs. Krank want to skip Christmas to save money even though they claim it's not about money. They spend half the film denying the annoying neighbors the pleasure of butting into their business of why they won't spend 5 minutes putting up a Christmas light and the other half selling out in order to lie to their daughter. This movie is an absolute mess, has horrible morals, utterly unfunny and a train wreck with brilliant comedic stars that should know better. SKIP SKIPPING Christmas!!!

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