Christmas With The Kranks
Released: November 24, 2004
You know the rule: No one goes to the movies with Larry H. Well, there's this old college bud that came to town and really, really wanted to tag along to see what this Friday afternoon ritual is all about. I said "okay" but I told Martin T. that I pick the movie, the theatre, and the time...and he could not sit by me. I allowed him to sit within a couple of seats, but no talking please. Martin has always been a little crazy which is why we've been friends for over thirty years.
"Christmas With The Kranks" stars Tim Allen as Luther Krank and Jamie Lee Curtis as Nora Krank. I'd go see a movie based on that alone; you gotta love anybody named Krank. The movie is based on the book by John Grisham who strayed from his usual legal thriller to pen this fluffy story about a family, actually Luther, which decides to skip Christmas, save a bunch of money, and go on a Caribbean cruise. The daughter of Luther and Nora was not planning to be home with her parents since she was working for the Peace Corp in Peru so "Skipping Christmas" sounded like a good idea.
The Kranks did not participate in the usual decorating of their home, exchanging gifts, and hosting their annual Christmas Eve party. And the neighbors and friends were outraged that anyone had the audacity to opt out of the tradition of Christmas. The Kranks were the target of much peer pressure and neighborhood gossip and harassment. But Luther and Nora fought back...well actually they hid in their house to avoid the do-gooders.
The storyline is not complicated nor designed to make a huge statement about our society other than the common bah-humbug and Scrooge angle. The additional cast of Dan Aykroyd, Cheech Marin, Jake Busey, Tom Poston, and M. Emmett Walsh are charming and likeable, but the movie never climbs out of mediocrity in spite of some very funny lines and pratfalls by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee. One extra treat for the ladies: Jamie Lee has the guts to appear briefly in a teeny weenie bikini that exposes her very mature body.
Tim Allen's character is a combination of Tim the Tool Time Guy from his TV show and Clark Griswold from "Vacation." Wait for this movie to appear on the USA channel and you'll be fine. The big movies will be out in the next 2-3 weeks. Rock 'n Roll.