As strange as it may sound, the Kranks, the award-winning couple for their cheerful Christmas spirit, have decided for the first time, to skip this year's annual festivities when their daughter, Blair, departs for Peru, after joining the Peace Corps. With the intention to save the staggering amount of $6,000-plus spent on previous year's holiday season, the Kranks are determined to invest the money on a sun-drenched, 10-day Caribbean cruise, much to their friends and neighbours chagrin. However, that is easier said than done, and before long, menacing phone calls and angry protests on the snow-covered pavements will betray that there is definitely no easy way out for the traitorous couple who has turned its back on Christmas. And then, unexpectedly, Blair and her new fiancé are coming home, unbeknownst to them that the empty family nest is far from ready for the event. Can the Kranks "generate" Christmas out of nothing in less than a few hours?Written by
Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)
(aka "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)")
Written by Johnny Ramone (as John Cummings)
[Incorrectly co-credited to Dee Dee Ramone (as Douglas Colvin), and Joey Ramone (as Jeff Hyman)]
Published by Taco Tunes, Inc.
Performed by Ramones
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing and courtesy of Ramones Productions Inc. See more »
The first half of the movie is much better than the second half
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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