Christmas with the Kranks
The Story (Potential Spoilers)
Christmas with the Kranks is based on the popular John Grisham book “Skipping Christmas” and that is what Luther Krank and with a little coercion, his wife Nora Frank intend to do.
As the movie opens, Luther and Nora’s daughter, Blair has joined the Peace Corp and is headed to South America. This is especially tough on Nora as Christmas will just not be the same without her. Luther sees this as a grand opportunity to forgo all things Christmas. When he means all things, he means all things including buying the tree from the local Boy Scout troop, making the annual calendar purchase from the police auxiliary and be all end all for the neighborhood, not putting Frosty on the roof. To top off all his bah humbugness, he plans a cruise, to leave on Christmas day.
Naturally, his neighbors and co-workers are upset to say the least. Nora is tormented at home by the neighborhood Christmas overlord, Vic Froymeyer and his son, Spike. All the meanwhile, Luther is dealing with scathing glances and comments from his co-workers.
Just as the cruise plan finally comes together, Nora receives a call from Blair saying she is coming and she’s not alone.
This causes a mad dash of hilarity to put on the annual Christmas Eve party to greet her.
To simply to put it, this is one of my favorite Christmas movies. While not a cinematic breakthrough or triumph, Christmas with Kranks combines both laughs with tender emotional scenes that speak to the heart.
One of the highlights of the film is Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance. We’ve seen glimpses of her comedic chops in “A Fish Called Wanda” and “Trading Places”, but she lets loose here as Nora. The scene where the neighborhood kids are tormenting her and then Vic Fromeyer chases her car down, shows her in a new comedic light.
Another highlight the great cast; Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Ackroyd, Tom Poston, M. Emmett Walsh, Jake Busey, Cheech Marin and Austin Pendleton lend great comedic performances.
Generally loathed by most mainstream critics, Christmas with the Kranks found moderate box office success. Fortunately, the film has found new fans on dvd and on cable re-runs.
While not gut busting funny as National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Christmas with Kranks delivers the goods or rather the “honey baked ham”!
This one is on Santa’s Nice List!
8 Candy Canes out of 10