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Christmas with the Kranks
Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
  • Director:
    Joe Roth
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    John Grisham,Chris Columbus
  • Cast:
    Tim Allen,Jamie Lee Curtis,Dan Aykroyd
  • Time:
    1h 39min
  • Budget:
  • Year:
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?
Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Allen Tim Allen - Luther Krank
Jamie Lee Curtis Jamie Lee Curtis - Nora Krank
Dan Aykroyd Dan Aykroyd - Vic Frohmeyer
M. Emmet Walsh M. Emmet Walsh - Walt Scheel
Elizabeth Franz Elizabeth Franz - Bev Scheel
Erik Per Sullivan Erik Per Sullivan - Spike Frohmeyer
Cheech Marin Cheech Marin - Officer Salino
Jake Busey Jake Busey - Officer Treen
Austin Pendleton Austin Pendleton - Umbrella Santa / Marty
Tom Poston Tom Poston - Father Zabriskie
Julie Gonzalo Julie Gonzalo - Blair Krank
René Lavan René Lavan - Enrique Decardenal
Caroline Rhea Caroline Rhea - Candi
Felicity Huffman Felicity Huffman - Merry
Patrick Breen Patrick Breen - Aubie

Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

The title of the John Grisham book on which the film is based is "Skipping Christmas." It wasn't used for the film to avoid confusion with another Christmas-themed film, Išgyventi Kaledas (2004).

The swimsuits the models are wearing in the advertisement for the cruise the Kranks are taking are the same ones Luther and Nora wear when they go tanning in the mall.

During filming, it was reported that the cast and crew had ingested over 10 pounds of fake snow.

When the Kranks are watching Vic Frohmeyer through the window, Luther says to Nora, "So you're saying Frohmeyer has a problem with our skipping Christmas? Who's he gonna call?" Dan Aykroyd, who plays Frohmeyer, also starred in the film "Ghostbusters" for which "Who Ya Gonna Call" was a line from the movies theme song.

Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Akroyd had previously starred in Trading Places, My Girl, and My Girl 2 together. They play neighbors in Christmas With the Kranks rather than love interests as they have in their previous movies.

M. Emmet Walsh and Tom Poston were both recurring actors on Tim Allen's Auksarankis (1991).

Tom Poston's final film.

This film is based on the John Grisham book "Skipping Christmas". This is also the headline that appears in the newspaper article after the tanning salon incident.

Julie Gonzalo, who plays Blair Krank, and Jamie Lee Curtis also star together in Freaky Friday (2003) in which Gonzalo plays the nemesis of Curtis's daughter.

Lots of deleted and alternate footage appears in the movie's trailer (included in the "Previews" section on the DVD). Some examples are:

  • A book being opened to a photo of the Krank family.
  • Nora Krank taking a photo of her husband and daughter outside their house.
  • Luther Krank with a device in his mouth, obviously sitting in a dentist's chair to get his teeth whitened and/or fixed.
  • Luther Krank driving home with the skimpy tree on the roof of his car getting heckled by another motorist.
  • A different cruise advertisement in the travel agency's window.
  • Luther Krank showing his botox-injected face in the hospital. (We only see it for the first time in the scene afterwards where he's eating with his wife.)
  • The shot of Blair Krank saying goodbye to her parents at the airport doesn't have a screen credit over it as it does in the actual film.

Ally Sheedy was considered for the role of Nora Krank.

During the scene when Tim Allen is stuck hanging from his roof, you can see one of the fireman get hit in the face with the ladder.

When the power goes out, Luther asks Vic if he knows anybody at Con Ed. In Vaiduokliu medziotojai 2 (1989), Dan Aykroyd who plays Vic, and the other Ghostbusters pretend to be from Con Ed to dig a big hole in the middle of the street.

Tim Allen has done a total of five Christmas movies - The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2, Christmas with the Kranks, The Santa Clause 3, and El Camino Christmas (2017).

After the party had already started, the burglar who lies about having kids tries to escape from the upper floor and walks out onto the roof. Tim Allen's character, Luther Krank yells "Hey, get down from there!" which was similar to him first yelling at Santa Claus on the roof then yelling the same lines to his son on the roof not long after in one scene from "The Santa Clause" starring Tim Allen.

When worrying about what Vic and the neighbors will think about the plan, Luther says "Who's he gonna call?" Dan Aykroyd, who plays Vic was in Ghostbusters, for which the tag line was "Who ya gonna call?"

This is the second Christmas movie Tim Allen starred in where a character fell off the roof. The first movie was "The Santa Clause" (1994) where the real Santa Clause fell off the roof.

Patrick Breen (who made a cameo as Aubie, a Christmas card maker) was in "Galaxy Quest" also starring Tim Allen.

Dan Aykroyd also played a neighbor named "Vic" in 1981's "Neighbors" with John Belushi.

There is an on going feud between Tim Allen and the neighbours white persian cat 'Muffles' in this film. Tim Allen also had a run in with his girlfriend's white Persian cat 'Coco' in the earlier 1997 film Jungle 2 Jungle.

When Luther finds out what the name of the mysterious man he says "Houston we have a name." In Apollo 13, which stars Tim Allen's Toy Story Co-Star Tom Hanks, Tom's character says "Houston we have a problem."

Arden Myrin and Andy Daly are both former cast members of Mad TV.

When Nora is worried about the kids telling Vic Fromeyer they were skipping Christmas Luther says whose he going to call and one of the people is Santa. Tim Allen played Santa in The Santa Clause movies.

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.
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.
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!
Hawk Flying
Hawk Flying
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
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
This movie was great. I love Tim Allen, and that's what drew me in. Yes, the audacious neighbors were a little annoying, but I think that was on purpose. This movie was not stupid. I laughed a lot during this movie, and I love the parts where Nora is trying to get the honey ham. I want to cover my eyes, because it's so frustrating, but I can't not watch it. The end is also very good and heart-warming: what Luther does for those people, how the whole neighborhood pulls together to help Luther after he's made a complete fool of himself, and the whole thing with "Marty," a.k.a. Santa Clause. I did think the part where he drove a Volkswagen bug instead of a sleigh was kind of nonessential and maybe a little dumb, but I have to give the movie a nine out of ten because it satisfied me. People who are against this movie need to just let go and let live; it is a good holiday movie, and if you weren't blinded by your uptight standards, you would enjoy it. I don't mean to offend anybody, but I felt like I was taking a personal blow when I read many of the mean and nasty comments.
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.
First of all, I love Tim Allen. If he made a movie where I could just sit and look at him, I would go. Every Christmas season, I make Christmas with the Kranks a tradition. I think the movie is very cute, and I enjoyed it a lot.
I just watched this movie and thought it was a passable Christmas movie. Yes I agree with the other poster that it is a movie meant to generate Christmas spending by shaming the people who turn away from it like the Kranks, but it was reasonably funny though. I don't care about its message, because in the end they showed he had the Christmas spirit after all. I like Dan Akroyd's militant neighbor role, and Tim Allen is no stranger to Christmas movies. It was generally meh though, but got a few laughs from me. One of my favorite bits was right at the start when that Santa was trying to sell him the umbrella, and later when the priest (Looney "It's Lun-nay, it's French" from Family Matters) encounters them at the tanning salon was pretty funny too. Overall a family friendly (G rated) comedy with a heartwarming ending. 6/10
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)
Contrary to what other wanna be movie reviewers on this site may say, my family and I thought this was a really good movie. It's a Christmas movie! It's supposed to make people think about how Christmas effects us. Yes, this movie does have quite a bit of so called "slapstick" comedy, but I thought it was very funny. A very cheerful movie. Who doesn't want a "feel good" movie for the holidays! Everyone needs a good laugh every once in awhile! Don't miss this movie. It's great for the whole family! Maybe people shouldn't try to look so deeply into movies trying to find something wrong with them. Maybe they should just sit down with their families and a bucket of popcorn, in their own living room, cuddle up and enjoy a happy family related feel good show!
What a terrible movie this is! 'Christmas with the Kranks' is a Christmas-comedy that is neither funny or about the spirit of Christmas. It is about a terrible neighborhood where Luther and Nora Krank (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) want to skip Christmas for a change to go on a cruise. Christmas has cost them six thousand dollars last year, mainly on decoration, so this year they don't do Christmas-stuff and go on the cruise, still saving three thousand dollars. Unfortunately their neighbors disagree. It is a tradition that the whole neighborhood takes part in this holiday; skipping is not an option. The ending of the film basically says that the neighbors are right and that their cruel methods to stop the Kranks from going on the cruise is justified. How stupid can it get?

Well, even more than it already is. Of course the Kranks fail to skip Christmas because their daughter, only away for some weeks to join the Peace Corps in Peru, returns for the holidays together with her new fiancé. Right. So suddenly the Kranks have to do their usual Christmas-things that includes giving a Christmas Eve party. There is quite some hurry needed since the two lovebirds are already on their way. What do you know? All the cruel neighbors are willing to help! In a series of unfortunate events we see how things almost go wrong the entire time and turn out the way they should after all. How surprising.

The movie rolls from one stupid event into another, never funny, most of the time even annoying. It is hard to believe this story seemed funny on paper and that gives us the obvious question of why this movie was even made. Probably because it is about Christmas and could make some money, which it did. If there is one Christmas-movie to avoid in whatever year it definitely is 'Christmas with the Kranks'.
When Luther Krank decides to skip Christmas, well, he comes off as the only guy with an actual Christmas spirit in the whole film. Let me explain. All his neighbors are in a mad rush to waste their money and go threw the pointless routines of the season, instead of doing what's really important and being grateful and giving during this time. Okay, just imagine the whole Grinch Stole Christmas theme, only sadly the Grinch never shows up to set the people straight.

Krank seems to be the only guy that gets it. Wanting to make him and his wife happy by taking a much needed brake and going on a vacation. That should spreed some good cheer.

But oh no. In the end the neighbors win and he goes along with the horrid endeavor. Though he does try to help out one family, it's to little to late and the whole film comes off like a massive add to buy Christmas lights.

It's only cute, never funny, and where did all the people go that never had anything to do with Christmas in the first place? This film must take place in some sick and twisted fantasy land because they are no where to be found.

This movie has about as much of a Christmas feel as an add on TV. bah-humbug!
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.
I love this movie, and is a Christmas season must for me! A funny movie filled with the realistic pitfalls of living in suburbia while maintaining individuality and free will. The neighbors are the perfect representation for how the "spirit of the season" gets swept up in the commercial excess. Continually seeing the Kranks get socially and emotionally pummeled as each new antagonist reacts to not getting their demands met gets a little annoying, but overall it hits the mark in message and delivery. If you are tired a watching the countless remakes that pervade this season then I recommend this original, entertaining Christmas movie for the whole family.
Whoever hates this film is a real Scrooge just like Luther was. While I might not agree with Tim Allen's views, I enjoy his humor and I love every Christmas movie he's in. This is definitely a Christmas classic and Jaimie Lee Curtis and Dan Ackroyd are bothexcellent in this movie too. I hope people walk away from this movie with a newfound Christmas spirit.
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.
The first time I watched this, I was not impressed. But after the 3rd time in TV, I bought is and have seen it many times since. It have great actors for the roles they play and tells a funny story that ends well. Recommend.
It is hard to understand why this simple and fun Christmas movie was the subject of such heavy-handed criticism. At the time of these comments, the movie was rated 4.6 stars. After checking the ratings of other Christmas movies, this seems blatantly unfair. It's definitely not in the league of It's a Wonderful Life, but it certainly bats in the same ballpark as National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which currently boasts a more appropriate 7.2 stars.

Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis both give great performances in this movie. As the empty-nested parents of departing Blair Krank, they show typical-but-humorous reactions to the pending holiday absence of their 23-year-old daughter. Many American households could resemble that of the Kranks as the baby birds begin to take wing. It's easy to understand how the departure of your children can have a huge impact on the celebration of Christmas traditions.

While it is true that the movie doesn't pull any punches, we should all know from the onset that the conflict in this movie is about a middle-aged couple attempting to escape the traditional capitalist trappings of Christmas. And, obviously, there is going to be a change of plans as well as a change of heart as Luther's Christmas cruise ship scheme unravels with the unexpected return of their daughter and her new boyfriend.

There are many funny moments in the movie as the Kranks try to avoid the Christmas rituals of their neighbors, co-workers, friends and community. The unwanted Christmas carolers and coping with the effects of Luther's botox injections are just two scenes that come to my mind. But, even after the Kranks decide to host their annual yuletide celebration, the laughs continue as Mrs. Krank contends with the unmentionable honey ham debacle and Mr. Krank tries unsuccessfully to mount Frosty on the roof.

My entire family loves this movie. We have watched it several times both before and after Christmas. My kids and my wife laugh every time. To its credit, the movie is not an embarrassment for parents with young children, which entitles it to at least 5 measly stars.

We have a good time watching Christmas with the Kranks, which is all I expect from this movie. I would not ever describe it as a Christmas classic, but I can recommend it as a happy holiday diversion. Apparently, there are many people who expect a great deal more from a fun-filled Christmas movie.
The acting from some actors was very good. Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband were both very funny and obviously talented, as this movie shows. Some good one liners and classic comedy situations. It brought a festive mood to the world of cinema as well. The genre was comedy and it hit that making a good family movie. Some good situation, slap stick comedy a few good stunts which brought humour and a realistic tale, in a family movie.

Good acting, hit genres, sort of hit target audiences- reasonable a 6!

The Problems were- - Target Audience, I think more were expecting Father of the Bride type comedy and target audiences were only slightly impressed. As a film a 6!
If you go to see this movie, see this movie or even think about seeing this movie, you should be lobotomized. I 'had' to attend this spectacle as it was a 'gift' to my Aunt and Uncle. Next time I'll just send them a fruit basket. Tim Allen has always been a hack and maybe he's still 'kranked' up; he must be on something to do a film like this. And the film went like this: Cliché, cliché, fart and pee jokes, cliché, trite, cliché attempt to be serious ending, with a freakin' dying person manipulated for tickets!

OK, I know a lot of you out there want easy humor, but don't insult great comedians by calling this movie slapstick. This was as slapstick as a hockey shot, and the NHL is suspended, just like this movie should be from the consciousness of my mind.

I don't pity people with thin senses of humor. Look at it this way: What would a swimming- pool be without its shallow end?
"Christmas with the Kranks" deserves a place among not only the worst holiday movies ever made, but one of the worst of all time in ANY genre.

The story closely follows the novel by John Grisham. The book itself is challenged from the get-go because it employs a formula which is all too familiar among holiday fare: the man who has lost his enthusiasm for the Christmas season but eventually goes through a personal redemption which restores his spirit. It is a theme that has been visited by everyone from Charles Dickens to Dr. Seuss, and so needs a lot of creativity and hard work to appear original. Unfortunately, Grisham"s plot followed a very predictable course and the result is a tale that is so tiresome that you can even sense the actors and the director of the film version were just as completely bored by the premise as most viewers will be.

The story also suffers from the assumption that a family not blatantly participating in outdoor lighting, greeting card sending, party-throwing, etc. would be branded and immediately set apart as rejects of their local society. I don't know about the neighborhood where John Grisham lives, but in my midwest suburb, most of the houses don't even bother to decorate at all. Yet I don't see neighborhood protests occurring every Christmas season. Further, in an age when Nativity scenes are routinely banned from public display and use of the word "Christmas" itself is discouraged as politically incorrect, it is hard to believe there would be such widespread condemnation of one family's decision to "skip Christmas" so they can go on a Caribbean cruise.

Having read the book, I was curious to see if the movie version improved upon the sub-par story. It is much, much worse. The development of the main character, Luther Krank (played by Tim Allen), into a man who is tired of the Christmas grind went too fast in the book and in the movie is barely established at all. In fact, we are led to believe it all comes about after one scene in which Luther makes a dash into a specialty foods store in the pouring rain to pick up a couple of items for his wife. What passes for creative slapstick at this time is Luther getting splashed by a car and his foot being submerged in a watery pothole.

Brace yourself, because that is about as original as the pranks in this film get.

While the main characters - Luther, and his wife, Nora (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) are hardly given any time to get INTO character, the character of the neighbors, and the Kranks' relationship to them is given none. It is almost as if the screenplay was written assuming the viewer had read Grisham's book and could fill in all the blanks. Hence, the much needed dynamic tension between the neighbors and the Kranks in order to establish some of the comedy is non-existent. Without build-up or justification, the animosity the neighbors have for the Kranks is forced, untrue, and very unfunny.

It is unsettling to watch highly paid actors go through the motions, looking as tired as the story. It is as if they themselves had no faith in the film, and just couldn't wait to get it done and over with. Ditto for the director. I can just visualize the director saying, "Okay, Tim, Jaimie Lee. One take and let's move on to the next one."

Even the cinematography looks tired and passionless. It appears as if even the outdoor scenes were filmed in a brightly lit studio. The story ached for a wide angle or bird's-eye panorama of the neighborhood to emphasize the Kranks' lack of participation with the lighting displays but we never see such a view. In addition, the scenery itself is so brightly lit you can hardly tell a difference between the Kranks' "dark" undecorated house and the well-lit homes of his neighbors.

When a comedy falls this flat it is not pretty. Especially when the script tries to inject some instant pathos at the last scene! Ironically, Luther's "conversion" into a caring person, a scene that is intended to be moving, may be the most laughable aspect of a film that is entirely contrived and more pathetic than anything else.
My girlfriend and I went to view "Christmas with the Kranks," and I must say that it was the biggest waste of $17 that I've ever spent. Every person who plays in the movie is an over-actor; the whole experience is extremely surreal. Each scene that you watch is so overdone that you can't help but expect a funny end to the scene- but, unfortunately, there is none. There were so many times where I thought something funny was about to happen, but to no avail.

It is replete with overshot facial close-ups and over expressions. There's just something missing from the script. What's more, the movie drags on much too long. I will admit however, that there are a few good parts- mostly those which you see in the previews of the movie- but that's about it. I felt that this film left much to be desired. Take my advice and don't waste your hard earned money on such a flop of a movie....I would give this film 2 out of 10 stars.
I went into this movie expecting a sort of silly slapstick comedy, a la National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - silly but fun, something to make me laugh after a long hard week of work. But don't believe the trailers - this movie is nothing of the sort. In fact, what I got was something very frightening and disturbing - the moral of this story is "conform or else". What sort of twisted Christmas message is that supposed to be?

**Spoilers below this point**

The Kranks are having that empty nest feeling for the first time this Christmas - so to help themselves out, Mr. Krank decides to take them both on a wonderful 10 day cruise for Christmas instead of doing the regular holiday schtick. Frankly, what woman wouldn't love that? I know I would...

So to save up money for this trip, they forego the traditional cards, presents, tree, etc, and basically just tell folks Merry Christmas and we'll see you next year. You would think they admitted to being Satanists and that God was dead. They are ostracized by neighbors, coworkers, so-called friends. The neighbors all whisper about how 'selfish' they are being. How 'terrible' that they are acting this way. What is this, the Borg Collective? Be assimilated or die? Since when is it not OK in this country to do something different? To act in a different manner? (Can you say Mccarthyism kids, I knew you could...)

There is something fundamentally wrong with the message this movie sends. Why is doing something nice for your wife a bad thing? Since when?? This is just not right. And frankly the fact that a movie like this made it to the theater is downright scary.

Oh and am I the only one who found the Frosty on every single friggin' roof a tad freaky? I felt like I was watching the Stepford neighborhood...just very very weird and bizarre to see that.

Overall - if there was a negative rating I would give it. This is bad on so many levels. Please don't go see this movie. See the Incredibles. National Treasure. Heck there are more laughs in Seed of Chucky. Or better yet, go rent National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Now THATS some good old fashioned fun....
Horrible, Horrible, Horrible. From beginning to end this film attempted old clichéd jokes and predictable plot lines. There was barely a moment where the movie can break a smile onto your face let alone laugh. Chris Columbus has obviously lost any ability to write a decent screenplay because even with a lame plot the characters were given no depth and pathetic attempts to give Tim Allen something he could work with to bring a chuckle to a disappointed audience left everyone flat. Jamie-Lee Curtis is not believable as the very day housewife. Perhaps the only character who fit in was the cat who had to make a few hissing noises to bring humor. This is the type of film where you cannot wait for it to end. Why Tim Allen thought this would be a good film to star in is beyond me.