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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Movie Review:Christmas With The Kranks

Premise:A middle aged couple decides to skip Christmas and go on a cruise, much to the shock of the neighborhood.

Cast:Tim Allen as Luthor Krank, Jamie Lee Curtis as Nora Krank, Julie Gonzalo as Blair Krank, Dan Aykroyd as Vic Frohmeyer, Erik Per Sullivan as Spike Frohmeyer, M. Emmett Walsh as Walt Scheel, Elizabeth Franz as Bev Scheel, Cheech Marin as Officer Salino, Jake Busey as Officer Treen, Austin Pendleton as Marty, René Lavan as Enrique Decardenal

Director:Joe Roth

MPAA Rating:PG for brief language and suggestive content.

Genres:Holiday, comedy

Notes:Based on the book Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:One or two characters.

Cons:Obnoxious characters. Not many laughs.


With their daughter leaving for the holidays, the Kranks have started to wonder, why celebrate Christmas? It's so expensive that a cruise would be cheaper. Now if only the neighbors would see it that way.

Almost everybody in this movie acts like the Kranks are awful people for daring to break tradition. And both Luthor and the neighbors end up being pretty obnoxious about their respective perspectives. The former gets downright mean to people and the latter harass the Kranks a lot for what they're doing. I did like Nora though. Considering all she has to go through, you have to feel at least a little sorry for her.

Overall, thanks to insufferable characters, this movie wasn't that great and not something I'd want to watch year after year.


Sex:When Luthor first brings up the cruise, his wife mistakes it for him initiating sex. He makes a comment about his daughter shacking up with her fiancée (she insists they lived in different huts). Nora climbs on Luthor while they're laying on their bed. It's implied they have sex afterward.
The brochure for the cruise has people in bikinis, which is exactly what the Kranks wear to a tanning salon. Then their priest shows up. A couple of woman wear sexualized tops. Couples kiss. The camera gets a close-up of a woman's torso while she's in a bikini. There's a joke about Luthor buying himself a woman's swimsuit.

Violence:This is the kind of the movie that uses slapstick violence for humor. Luthor falls off a roof, gets hung by his leg with a rope, and makes a suicide joke. He also ices the sidewalk to stop the neighbors. Nora gets mad about this because he could have put someone in the hospital. He asks if that would be a bad thing. A woman bangs her head and bleeds.
Nora rolls up a car window onto a guy's fingers when he won't leave her alone. Tired of getting calls to "free Frosty," Luthor shouts into the phone "Frosty's dead!" He accidentally steps on a cat's tail a few times and wishes for a snowball with a yellow spot to throw at someone. Nora drops a ham and watches it get flattened. She also falls onto a shopping cart and crashes into a display. Lights get blown out twice, both times knocking someone to the ground. Someone chases and tackles a kid. A burglar is stopped by cops and gets slammed into a dumpster and then a car. A guy excuses his slow driving by saying it's better than spending Christmas in a body bag.

Language:G*d is used a few times. D**n and h*ll are both said once.

Drugs & Alcohol:Characters drink throughout. One guy stops after he thinks he's hearing Frosty talk to him. Someone smokes. Luthor holds up some sticks, asks if they're legal, then pretend to smoke them.

Spiritual:A priest shows up at an embarrassing moment. Someone who finds out the Kranks are skipping Christmas asks if they're Jewish or Buddhist. When Luthor tells Nora they are not going to participate in any Christmas tradition, he includes giving donations to the church. She tells him if that's the case, she won't go. There are cracks about a guy calling the Wise Men and people worshiping trees. Frosty the Snowman gets demonic eyes. It's said a daughter should not pay for her father's sins.


What was your opinion? Did you enjoy it? Or do you need a vacation from it?


© 2014 by M.R.R.

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