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Christmas with the Kranks is a slightly amusing, slightly heartwarming slapstick comedy starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curits as the title couple who initially want to skip the holidays because their only offspring, a daughter, is leaving the country to join the Peace Corps. In fact, Luther Krank is planning to leave with his wife for a cruise on that very day. As a result, they get harassed by the neighbors led by Dan Aykroyd. Other neighbors include M. Emmet Walsh, Felicity Huffman, Caroline Rhea. There's also a couple of cops (Cheech Marin, Jake Busey) who Luther refuses to buy the annual police calendar from. Also appearing are David L. Lander, who I fondly remember as Squiggy on "Laverne and Shirley", as a tanning customer who causes Curtis to hit her head on the tanning bed and, in his last role, the late Tom Poston as a priest who discovers Jamie in her bikini after she goes to the receptionist for a band-aid. Those scenes were funny as were those between Allen and a white cat that he keeps stepping on (also loved when the cat got frozen with only the eyes moving) and his botox scene when he has trouble putting things in his mouth. Others were either too frantic or too predictable. Best surprise was Austin Pendleton as someone no one knows at first but then Allen remembers from somewhere else. Like I said, this wasn't very funny but by the end I was willing to overlook many of the film's flaws and just enjoy the celebration that filled the last 30 minutes with wonderful singing from Aykroyd and nice accompaniment from Marin, Busey, and especially Poston in his final minutes of screen time. Oh, and Rhea and Huffman are completely wasted in their few minutes as Curtis' neighbors. Still, a tolerable time waster from screenwriter Chris Columbus who adopted John Grisham's novel "Skipping Christmas", and director Joe Roth.
It was Tim Allen's second film (The Santa Clause), and the first where
he was the star, that stands as the only film he has done that I would
recommend watching. I am not a fan of Allen and never will be. The fact
that he was beaten by none other than Adam Sandler for an award says it
But, we did get to see the great Jamie Lee Curtis, who played his wife, and Dan Aykroyd, who shone as the the neighborhood ruler.
The story was funny at times, but too predictable in the neighborhood from hell.
So, skip this and watch The Santa Clause.
I've heard nothing but bad things about this holiday comedy, but it seemed innocent enough to me and basically offers up a lot of good cheer and Christmas spirit, along with some humorous moments. It's about a husband and wife (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) whose daughter is away in the Peace Corps, and so they decide to skip celebrating Christmas one year and go off on a Caribbean cruise. Their festive neighbors will have none of it though, and keep harassing them (one of them is Dan Akroyd, who's pretty good here). When it turns out that their daughter has changed her mind and is coming home with her new fiancé, the Kranks have to scramble at the last minute to prepare a huge Christmas Eve party. Not great, not bad -- Jamie Lee sometimes could be annoying with her over-the-top screaming and whooping it up. **1/2 out of ****
I've seen worse. It is watchable. Occasional chuckles. One scene is
particularly heartwarming. But it doesn't really work. An excellent
cast is wasted.
Suspension of disbelief is a tricky thing. Scenes can be pure fantasy or slapstick and still come across as true to their internal reality. For a story essentially grounded in reality, Christmas with the Kranks does not handle it well. The characters major and minor do not respond like real people. It plays out like The Sock Puppet Christmas Story. It also feels a bit like Christmas in the 'Burbs.
Only three years old, this movie has already made its way into the discount bins at Walmart, so at least you can pick it up cheap if you want it.
I never really got why a lot of people didn't like this movie. Granted,
it can't compete with other Christmas classics like Christmas Vacation
and The Santa Clause, but it is still a great movie that provides much
laughter and ends up having a good, strong message that really captures
what the true meaning of Christmas is about. Tim Allen and Jamie Lee
Curtis were quite hilarious together. I admittedly was not much for
Jamie's hair cut, but that's my only complaint.
Other then just being a funny movie, this movie's message is to put aside our selfish desires that can be so prevalent around the holidays and give of ourselves expecting nothing in return, just like Christ (who is the true reason for the season) did. With a barrel of laughs and a message like that, you can't lose with this underrated, overlooked gem of a movie.
Just got through watching this and it was a lot funnier than what I had
originally thought it was going to be. Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis
had good chemistry with each other.
I actually felt the Christmas spirit while watching the movie--and its the middle of July!
I liked this better than Allen's other Christmas film The Santa Claus. And yes, at times this movie was a bit far fetched (the frozen cat), however thats one of the reasons why I watch these kinds of films. If it wasn't for those unrealistic parts, the movie wouldn't of been as humorous. .
Christmas With the Kranks would be an especially enjoyable movie to watch with your family around Christmas time.
From reading reviews of this movie when it came out, my immediate reaction was, avoid this film, but after catching it on TV several years later, I was quite surprised. It was not that bad at all, and had many funny moments although was somewhat 'cheesy'. Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen were cast well for this movie, as they made the best of a script that was not all that great. obviously this is not brilliant, and not worthy of a very high rating, neither will it become a classic Christmas movie, but the 'cheeseyness' of it makes it all worth a look....not too bad.....try it.....its just some harmless fun that you might not find too bad
Based on John Grisham's best-selling novel Skipping Christmas, this
comedy stars Tim Allen as Luther Krank, a man who decides to skip
Christmas and all the surrounding trappings and go on a vacation with
his wife Nora (Curtis) instead. But when his daughter decides, at the
last minute, to come home for the holidays, he is forced to put
Christmas back together, from his wife.
Jamie Lee Curtis was actually funny in this movie. But I liked her performance better in the 2003 hit "Freaky Friday" where her performance was better. Tim Allen was okay in this movie. It seems like he is getting older, but he did alright. Now lets talk about the movie. I had a feeling that this movie was going to be funny, and it is. I liked how the whole neighborhood cares what Luther wants to do and how they act like it's there business. But I think the movie could've been better in a few ways. Let me just say this may have *BREIF Spoiler* but someone may expect this to happen, but how Luther and Nora decide to put Christmas back together, the neighborhood wants to help, after what they did to them. Also, how the fake the neighborhood could be. There is no way a neighborhood could act like that. Screaming "Free Frosty!" over and over again.
This could be a delight to some families, but I think the best Christmas movie is definitely "Home Alone", I love that movie so much. I think families could see this movie and enjoy it, but there are better holiday movies to choose from. 6/10
After their daughter leaves for the Peace Corps, Luther and Nora Krank
decide to skip Christmas all together. No decorations, no gifts, no
parties and no holiday spirit. Instead they decide to "save" money by
taking a cruise...this does not settle very well with their
Christmas With The Kranks seems like the perfect movie to start up a new series, Griswold style. With two comedy powerhouses in the starring roles, Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, and with Christpher Columbus penning the script, Kranks had potential to last longer then just one film. But Joe Roth makes the film so utterly boring and unbelievably unfunny, that instead of dreading any sequel in the works you dread the entire experience that you just went through watching this thickheaded attempt at a funny film.
Where does the torture begin? Well, if I had to pinpoint the moment it started when the opening credits hit the screen. The bottom line is that Kranks is simply not funny at all. In what is suppose to be a family holiday comedy, Kranks is nothing more then a dim-witted, inane, atrocious piece of crap. Tim Allen should honestly stay away from anything Christmas related for the rest of his career, or sooner or later the Toolman's career will be over.
Jaimie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen do not work very well together as a husband and wife. There was no real chemistry and neither of them manage to get any laughter out of the audience at any point in the film. Being scared of your neighbors to the point where you are scared to leave the house is not funny. Getting botox to the face and not being able to drink is not funny. Maybe is Allen and Curtis had better material to extract any piece of comedy from then this film would be one level above abominable.
As well as not being funny Kranks is predictable. Scrooge finds a heart. That scrooge is Allen and the heart comes from giving away his cruise to an old man across the street, with whom he does not even like. After the Kranks decide to throw a Christmas party after all, all the neighbors join in and everyone lives happily ever after, except those that had to sit through this thing. There's not one interesting character in the whole film, not even one of the Christmas Crazed neighbors is able to connect or get any part of enjoyment from. Akroyd seemed okay in the role he did, but that doesn't make the role funny.
Joe Roth has yet to make one entertaining film and after this and Freedomland, I predict he never will. He should stick to producing and let someone with a little bit more talent stay behind the camera. Roth had no clue how to direct with the talent that he had. If he had lead the cast in some kind of direction maybe the film would have had a stronger comedic tone. With not a funny joke or scene in the entire film, or even a story-line to keep the audience from leaving their seats to slit their wrists, Kranks manages to make it to the bottom of the heap in a list of bad movies.
Everybody involved with this thing should have known that it was going nowhere. It's main draw in was the star power and everyone involved should read Comedy For Dummies, so the next time a garbage script like this comes their way, they are able to burn it.
Christmas with the Kranks is the kind of Christmas movie you are better
off avoiding. It thinks it is a funny film with funny antics which
relate to Christmas, but instead it is a smug little film which managed
to irritate the hell out of me with it's unfunny slapstick rubbish and
annoying neighbours, not to mention the false, wannabe feel-good
cop-out of an ending. All of this and it thinks it's the essential
Christmas film? Ha! It's more anti-Christmas than anything else. While
I'm pointing out this movie's flaws, I may as well mention that the
best parts were on the trailer and that the trailer ruined this movie's
only major twist (yeah, good one studio hacks!). After this twist,
laughs are supposed to ensue, but all that ensued for me were blank
stares at the screen, frowns and intermittent 'walk-outs' from the
lounge room, spent doing something more worthwhile, in this case,
watching the cricket.
Why is it an anti-Christmas film? Well, for starters, after sending their daughter off somewhere, the male Krank (was the surname meant to be funny or ironic?) decides to pass up Christmas in favour of a nice Caribbean cruise. A major plothole occurs here when the male Krank types up a memo saying that he will not celebrate Christmas. Now why the hell would you type up a memo saying that you will not celebrate Christmas? Wouldn't you keep it to yourself? I would. Ah well. Anyway, his neighbours find out and hound him and his wife consistently, for days on end, precipitating antics which often fall flat, such as Jamie Lee Curtis' character diving out of sight of the window and Tim Allen's botox injection, which sent my parents into fits of laughter, but which made me frown in bewildered disgust. Then the major twist comes along, you know, the one which was exposed on the trailer. Then apparently, things start to get really chaotic and funny. Well, chaotic yes, but not funny. But by this stage I was intermittently watching the cricket, so I missed a lot of it.
There happens to be a fair amount of talent in this cast, but all of it is more or less wasted because of this film's lack of - functional, for lack of a better word - humour. Yet again, Tim Allen tries to make a poor movie funny, but is unable to. Jamie Lee Curtis also tries to inject some humour into proceedings, but to no avail. Also, what is Dan Aykroyd doing here? He normally garners laughs, but here he is more smug than anything.
Apparently, this movie is meant to be based on a novel by John Grisham. That in itself is quite funny, as I thought John Grisham was actually meant to be a good writer. Also, Chris Columbus wrote this. Just looking at his movie credits and I notice that he has written the screenplays for stuff like The Goonies and The Gremlins. You wouldn't know it, judging by the consistent flatness of the 'comedy' in this film.
In the end, what more can I say? I really wanted to enjoy this movie as it is - a Christmas comedy. But the problem is, it's more anti-Christmas than pro-Christmas and the comedy, as I have obviously mentioned before, is as flat as last century's beer. I have been searching for a reason to give this movie higher than one measly star, but I haven't been able too, as redeeming qualities are in short supply here.
My verdict? Pass up this smug 'Christmas' rubbish and go see a Tim Allen/Christmas comedy which actually garners laughs. Like both of The Santa Clause movies. Or Toy Story.
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