Movie Review – Christmas With The Kranks (Mini Review)

Principal Cast : Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, Dava Hulsey, Julie Gonzalo, M Emmet Walsh, Elizabeth Franz, Erik Per Sullivan, Cheech Marin, Jake Busey, Aistin Pendleton, Tom Poston, Kim Rhodes, Caroline Rhea, Felicity Huffman.
Synopsis: With their daughter, Blair, away in Peru, Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas all together until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate it at the last minute.


Ghastly, horribly unfunny seasonal “comedy” is anything but a chucklefest, despite the clowning and slapstick of Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, the former of whom is no stranger to Christmas fare and the latter of whom ain’t a stranger to off-the-wall comedy. Boasting a litany of solid character actors all slumming it in this absolute nonsense, few films have made me as angry in the cinema as this Joe Roth-directed holiday “classic”, a classic example of stupid characters making stupid, utterly idiotic decisions propelling this movie forward. Christmas With The Kranks is one of those films where the premise is built on people just being jerks to each other for no reason whatsoever.

Allen and Curtis play Luther and Nora Krank, traditionally great seasonal neighbourly participants, lighting their house and offering December joy to their well-to-do street. One year, however, they decide that instead of spending all that money of decorations food and community warmth, they’re “skipping Christmas” to spend it on themselves, in the form of a luxury cruise. This rankles the noses of their neighbours, in particular domineering neighbour Vern Frohmeyer (Dan Aykroyd), and across-the-street cantankerous resident Walt Scheel (M Emmet Walsh). After nearly getting away with it, the Kranks are shocked to learn their much-loved daughter, Blair (Julie Gonzalo), is returning from an overseas trip with her new fiancée, meaning they have to urgently rush to renegotiate their holiday to ensure their daughter has the Christmas of her dreams.

Christmas With The Kranks is an exercise in dumbfuckery. It’s the kind of film that falls into the pitfall of having its characters behave with such moronic self-indulgence you almost can’t wait for things to go tits up for them. When Luther and Nora “selfishly” decide to spend Christmas out of town, on the understanding that Blair is out of country, when she springs a surprise return only days out from Christmas I’d have told her she’d be having Christmas alone. I mean, you’ve spent several thousand bucks on an exotic cruise and instead of explaining to loving daughter that you’ll be away for the holidays and not to come home, you drop everything and pretend everything’s all fine? The Kranks are absolute imbeciles, their daughter is a selfish cow, and all the neighbours living near the Kranks are assholes for expecting that their annual Christmas traditions can’t be pushed aside for a year. The premise, the basic foundation of this  movie is incomprehensibly stupid. Not just accidentally stupid, Kranks goes out of its way to gormlessly offer mindless jabs at consumerism, holiday travel, traditions (which, as the great meme says, is just pressure from dead people).

If you can’t tell, Christmas With The Kranks made me angry. Unfortunately, throwing my hands in the air each time somebody did or said something awful or stupid only gave me sore shoulders, and didn’t cause my wife to touch the remote control to switch this horror show off. I hated this film in the cinemas, hated this film when it came to DVD, and I goddam hate this film now that it’s available as “a holiday classic” on whatever streaming service pays to house it on their platform.

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