Christmas with the Kranks (2004) Poster

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Get exactly what you expect.
abahb114 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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Nice little Christmas Comedy
Garyuk-121 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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I liked this movie
hannahmarrin27 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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The first half of the movie is much better than the second half
krorie1 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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Depressing holiday "comedy"
Moonhawk197510 April 2005
Warning: 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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kevin shi1 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The Krank family decided to skip Christmas and go on a vacation instead because their daughter wouldn't come back. But their enthusiastic neighbors didn't agree with their action. Although the neighbors tried everything they could to persuade Kranks, it didn't work. When Kranks were preparing to leave, a sudden call from their daughter changed everything. Their daughter would come back. Time obviously was not enough to prepare the impending Christmas for just both of them.

When I watched that Luther Krank gave the travel tickets to his neighbor who he didn't like, I was moved by the scene. Leniency is virtue indeed.

Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis showed fully their comedian ability. Especially Jamie's exaggerating performance was better. She is my favorite comedian actress. I also liked her Freaky Friday, A fish called Wanda.

A funny Christmas movie. 7/10
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Ho! Ho! Ha! Ha!
Robert W.16 December 2004
Warning: 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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Have a Merry slapstick Christmas
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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Don't bother with this wretched piece of crap
mrfabulous102527 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
When a man and his wife decide to have a second honeymoon instead of an overblown expensive Christmas because they think they will be without their twenty something daughter, the plot of this hideousness exposes itself. They are made to feel guilty and harassed like they were child molesters by an assortment of evil and obnoxious neighbors and coworkers. Who are these jerks who think they are better than the Kranks. The Kranks would have an excuse "if they were Jewish" although the mention of the real reason for Christmas seems to elude the writers of this slapstick drivel. My birthday is on Christmas, I happen to believe in the holiday and I work retail. I find the horribleness of the totally commercialized Christmas ruining every frame of this disaster. It shows the worst parts of a "Christmas" celebration with some token tries at the end that are supposed to redeem its vile and selfish characters. This is easily in competition for one of the worst Christmas movies ever. Putrid and creepy this one should make Tim Allen ashamed. If you really want see a good movie about Christmas try The Family Stone with Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton. Its not slapstick stupid but it is a much richer holiday experience,
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