31 Days of Christmas Movies Marathon: Day 23 – Christmas With The Kranks

Welcome to my 31 Days of Christmas movie marathon.  This is a feature where I watch a different Christmas movie every day from now until Christmas.  The rules are simple: The movie has to be something I haven’t already seen and I must watch at least one Christmas-themed movie a day from now until December 25th.  They’ll be some bad ones and hopefully a lot of great ones.  Why put myself through this?  Because it’s a good way to catch up on a lot of Christmas movies and a good way to satisfy my OCD.

On the 23rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me… Christmas With The Kranks

Christmas With The Cranks is either a misguided poorly written attempt at evoking the spirit of Christmas through terrible plot holes and a huge suspension of disbelief within the film’s reality, or a brilliant allegorical propagandist film cloaked in American Christmas commercialism that promotes a consumerist fascist ideology.  I’m pretty sure nobody involved in the making of this film was thinking of the latter while making this.

The movie is based on the John Grisham book, ‘Skipping Christmas’.  Grisham, who is mostly known for his legal thrillers (A Time To Kill, The Firm, Runaway Jury) is not the man to blame for this Christmess of a movie.  In fact, his novel is filled with all the things that this movie lacked; humor, charm, characters you want to invest in, and just an overall well-written comedic sensibility.  It’s the screenplay writer, Chris Columbus who must take at least partial blame for wasting and hour and a half of my night.  Columbus, who is most famously known as the writer of The Goonies, and director of such films as Home Alone 1 and 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, and 2 of the Harry Potter movies will now be known as the guy who tried to destroy one of my favorite holiday books.

The story is about a middle-aged couple, the Kranks (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis), who decide, much to the dismay of an overenthusiastic neighborhood, to skip Christmas and take a 10 day cruise to the Caribbean Islands.  Before they can go on their getaway they first must contend with their overbearing neighbors who will go to extremes in order to vilify the Kranks for not conforming with the Christmas decorating rituals the rest of the street’s residents are so obsessed with.

As in most Christmas movies, the messages of peace and good will to your fellow man do come into play, but by the time they did I was too busy trying to wrap my head around why I should care about any of the character’s motives to give a damn.  The supposed moral high ground finale was just sickening and extremely hard to believe, even if it is just a movie.

Aside from my quest to see as many Christmas movies as I possibly can from the day after Thanksgiving until December 25th, I’m also on a quest to see a Tim Allen movie I can say with confidence was worth my time.  Christmas With The Kranks is not this movie.


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