It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Or not.
My Day 14 selection for my Christmas Movie Review Countdown is Christmas With The Kranks – 2004, Feature Family/Comedy.
Since we aren’t putting up a tree this year (thanks to crazy new kitty Storm, aka El Niño), I can identity with the premise of not doing Christmas for a change. Kind of. At least the decorations.
Based on John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas, Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) Krank anticipate a bleak Christmas because their daughter will be away from home for the first time as she travels with the Peace Corp.
In an unadulterated example of marriage manipulation at its finest, Luther convinces Nora to save money by spending less than their last year’s Christmas cash outlay of over $6,000 to go on a ten day cruise, and not spend the holiday at home where they’ll be depressed missing their daughter.
The hi-jinks begin as word spreads that the Kranks are boycotting Christmas; no Christmas cards, cookies, donations, decorations, annual Christmas Eve party – nothing, and they hit a wall of resistance from neighbors, co-workers, and friends.
To get Nora in the vacation mode and her mind off avoiding the Boy Scouts pressuring them to buy their annual tree, Luther convinces her to start tanning for their cruise which leads to one of the funniest moments of the movie.
Side note: I love Jamie Lee for not shying away from the camera as a middle-aged woman coping with the shock of a wearing a bikini for the first time in she-can’t-remember-when.
Dan Akroyd is perfect as the neighborhood enforcer with his gang of revenge-hungry Boy Scouts leaning on the Kranks to decorate the house (with Frosty at the pinnacle) so they can win the lighting contest.
And for those of us who’d like to see more airtime for cats, there is a small modicum of ironic kitty revenge woven into the story. =^.^=
Without giving away the rest of the plot, this is a genuinely laugh-out-loud movie with unexpected twists that keep it grounded, and bring us back to the meaning of what Christmas is all about.
Yes, of course. I give this movie 5 of 5 blow-up Frosty’s. ♥♥♥♥♥
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Gayla, I watched “Christmas With The Kranks” today via Netflix after reading your review. My fifteen year old son joined me in watching about halfway through. We both really enjoyed it. Predictible yet beautiful with just the right amount of wit, physical humor and camp. I’ll even watch it again. This was a good one for me to see this year. I saw the outcome of the cruise plotline coming yet my eyes still filled up. Appreciate your insights and yes, oh my, to being caught tanning by your clergy (or anyone!) wearing a barely there bikini. Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen were an awesome pairing for this movie! Glad I watched it. ~Janean
Thanks, Janean! With some movies, you notice something new each time you watch. 🙂 ~ G
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