Christmas With The Kranks

Christmas With The Kranks


Reviewed by: Symon Parsons

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Be careful - if you end up on the bad side, Santa may leave Christmas With The Kranks in your stocking.

Tim Allen is Luther Krank, a hard-hearted, money-grubbing lawyer, who calculates that skipping Christmas and taking a Caribbean cruise with his wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) will save him $3000. Consequently, no tree is bought, no presents wrapped and the Christmas lights stay tangled in a box. However, this does not go down well with friends and neighbours. Before long a campaign has started to bring the Kranks back into line, with the help of picketing carol singers and a crowd of boys, chanting Free Frosty, in their front garden.

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If you think this sounds ripe with comic potential then I have to disappoint you. If Christmas With The Kranks was a present, it would be an impressively wrapped pair of badly knitted socks.

Despite the proven comic talents of Allen and Curtis, aided by Dan Ackroyd, as the neighbourhood busybody, and Eric Per Sullivan (Dewey from Malcolm In The Middle), the film fails to engage. It's a strange sort of Christmas offering, too childish for adults, too slow for children. You'll find yourself wondering just whom it is aimed at, or how talented individuals, such as these, ended up working on it. You'll find yourself compiling a Christmas card list - anything to take your mind off the film.

It is competently put together by director Joe Roth, from a novel by John Grisham, proving he should stick to Southern lawyers. Sadly, it lacks the wonder and whimsy required to keep an enterprise like this afloat. Utterly charmless, it contains a less than heart-warming message on the true spirit of Christmas - allowing neighbours to pressure you into rampant consumerism, apparently.

I think it says something about Christmas With The Kranks that I went into the cinema wanting to hug a reindeer and came out wanting to bludgeon an elf with a frozen turkey.

Bah, humbug!

Reviewed on: 02 Dec 2004
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Busybody neighbours force unfestive couple to enter into the spirit of Christmas.
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Director: Joe Roth

Writer: Chris Columbus, based on the novel by John Grisham

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Tim Allen, Dan Ackroyd, Cheech Marin, Eric Per Sullivan, M Emmet Walsh, Elizabeth Franz, Jake Busey, Austin Pendleton, Tom Poston

Year: 2004

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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If you like this, try:

Deck The Halls
The Santa Clause 2