Christmas with the Kranks Review
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The highlight of our move from New England to the Midwest was finding The Cheap Theater—a second-run movie theater by our house that sells tickets for fifty cents on Tuesdays. It’s perfect for someone like me—someone who loves going to the movies and is willing to sacrifice always being the first person to see a move if it means having the extra $18 for mortgage payments and Frappuccinos.

Christmas with the Kranks was one of the movies I didn’t see in the full-price theater—but for a buck for the two of us, I could safely sit through it without worrying about wasting my money on a bad movie.

It’s a good thing I only paid a buck to see this movie.

Tim Allen stars as Luther Krank. He and his wife, Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis), face their first empty-nest Christmas when their only daughter, Blair (Julie Gonzalo), joins the Peace Corps. With Blair gone, Christmas just won’t be the same—so Luther decides to skip Christmas and take his wife on a cruise instead. The rules are simple: no Christmas tree, no Christmas decorations, no Christmas parties, no Christmas gifts. Just ten days of sunshine—for half the price of their usual Christmas festivities.

The Kranks’ Christmas plans, however, just won’t cut it for the neighbors. The entire neighborhood, led by Vic Frohmeyer (Dan Aykroyd), bands together to try to get the Kranks to bring the giant Frosty out of their basement and decorate their house like the rest of the neighbors.

Everything changes, though, when Blair changes her mind and announces—on the morning of Christmas Eve—that she’s coming home for Christmas…

Christmas with the Kranks has its funny moments—but you probably saw most of them already if you saw the trailer. The rest of the film varies from totally cliché and painfully sappy (complete with an old lady with cancer to make it more heartwarming) to utterly annoying.

For a while, I felt guilty hating it—after all, the crazy old couple next to me seemed to love it, as did the cackling lady in front of me and her two dim-witted children. So you can imagine my relief when we left the theater, and my husband said, “Well, it’s a good thing we only spent a buck on that.”

I’m not saying that you need to be crazy or dim-witted to enjoy this movie, but I’m sure it helps. Or perhaps my husband and I can trace our family trees back to Scrooge and the Grinch. But if you’re looking for a fun Christmas film, try A Christmas Story or maybe Christmas Vacation instead.

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