Sometimes the holidays can be no fun. Take it from me I worked retail last holiday season. With the wrong attitude, the holidays can feel hectic, over-materialistic, and stressful. It is no wonder then that sometimes people may just want to skip the whole thing. After all, all the preparation builds up to just a few days and then they’re simply over until next year. Movies like Christmas with the Kranks, however, only make things worse.

When their daughter, Blair (Julie Gonzalo), leaves for a year-long stay in Peru with the Peace Corps, Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora (Jamie Lee Cutis) Krank decide to save the money that they usually spend on Christmas and go on a cruise instead of celebrating the holiday. The Kranks live in a neighborhood that is more than slightly overzealous about the holiday season, so this plan does not go over well with the neighbors (including Dan Aykroyd). As the couple stops giving donations, sending out Christmas cards, or hosting their annual party, Nora starts to feel some pressure from her friends. Things go from bad to worse, however, when Luther refuses to decorate the house with lights and a seven-foot tall light-up snowman for the holidays. In a predictable surprise turn of events, Blair decides to come home for the holidays and doesn’t tell her parents until Christmas Eve afternoon. The Kranks now have to rely on the good holiday cheer of their neighbors to hide their plot, decorate the house, and throw their huge Christmas Eve party. Who’d have ever thought it would end that way?

Christmas with the Kranks is a predictable and unfunny holiday movie. The jokes are cute, but neither clever nor laugh-out-loud funny. The story is flat and full of clichés. It is sad that the screenplay is adapted from a John Grisham novel. The viewer can see exactly where the story is going from the start. It is transparent and not very entertaining at all.

It is also sad that two such talented entertainers signed on for such a bad film. Not even the hilarious talent of Tim Allen or the acting skills of Jamie Lee Curtis could save this one.

The ending is actually pretty touching, but it is still too little too late. The only redeeming quality is that Santa Claus did not miraculously show up on Christmas Eve to help out. Or did he? Some parts do not even make much sense, but it is not worth the trouble to think over them.

I find it sad that such stupid Christmas movies are churned out in order to make big bucks each holiday season. Probably the only good holiday movies I can recall are the classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and The Grinch. Christmas with the Kranks fits right in with the countless stupid seasonal movies that came before it. 

No. Ho. Ho.

The Waynedale News Staff
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Kasey Butcher

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