Christmas With The Kranks


Directed by: Joe Roth
Written by:Chris Columbus
Starring: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, Jake Busey, M. Emmet Walsh, Cheech Marin
Released: December 2, 2004
Grade: C

Christmas is a time for giving so I’m going to “give” you all a piece of advice.  Forget about seeing Christmas With The Kranks.

We open at the airport with Luther and Nora Krank (Allen and Curtis) saying farewell to their daughter.  Blair has left home for the first time and plans to spend the next two years working in South America.

Struggling to come to grips with the quieter household, Luther has an idea.  Don’t ask me why but he kept all his receipts from the previous Christmas.  It seems they spent over $6,000 on parties, donations, hams, decorations and presents.  Instead of spending a similar amount on this year’s Christmas festivities, Luther convinces Nora to “skip” Christmas.  That’s right – no tree, no cards and no police officer’s calendar.  Instead, the money saved will pay for a Caribbean cruise.  After 23 years raising a daughter, they’ve earned it, right?

Not so say the neighbours.  When they don’t get their usual Krank Christmas party invite, they ain’t happy.  The local children are pissed too when Luther doesn’t erect his traditional 7-foot-tall blow-up Frosty atop his roof.

What I say to this tripe is “boo hoo”.  So what if they don’t want to celebrate Christmas?  Why should they be made to feel guilty for not wasting their money on over priced decorations and moochers coming to their door expecting a handout?  Just today I saw Australian treasurer Peter Costello urging parents to show constraint this Christmas in response to figures showing our record credit card debt.  Our own Prime Minster, John Howard, said "there's nothing better you can give your children, in fact all through the year, than love.

The film takes a lame twist when the daughter calls on Christmas Eve morning with surprise news that she’s coming home.  Lo and behold, Luther and Nora give up their cruise, then go on a mercy dash across town trying to organise a gala party.  The neighbours even help out too – despite being complete assholes up until this point.

Was I supposed to feel happy walking out of this garbage?  Instead of a tingle down my spine, I felt a cold shiver.  And if you think the script is bad, wait till you see Jamie Lee Curtis in a bikini!