Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sleigh Bells Ring...

There's no better time of year, methinks, to watch Christmas movies than between, oh, April and October. I've been meaning to press Play on one for a couple months now... finally got the chance to catch this playing on one of the few movie channels I pay for.

Christmas with the Kranks

Starring: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd

also with: Cheech Marin, Felicity Huffman, Tom Poston


There's so much hype surrounding the massively overly-commercialized holiday that is our beloved Christmas. How much is there to do!? With the shopping for gifts, the baking of cookies, decorating the house and tree, and a party or twelve to attend, is there any time to just relax? For so many people: no. Few people probably do but why not try Skipping Christmas? Luther and Nora Krank do just that in this screen adaption of John Grisham's 2001 novel, interestingly titled, Skipping Christmas.

Every year for the Kranks, Christmas is a huge deal... not just huge but we're talkin' Mammoth Titanic Huge. That all changed when the Krank's daughter joined the Peace Corps and was headed to Peru, not to be spending the holiday season in Illinois with her family. Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor to the rescue... ummm... that is, Luther Krank to the rescue. Luther (Tim Allen) figures out it'll cost less to go on a luxurious Caribbean cruise than have their usual Christmas which won't be usual anyway without their daughter. Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) decides to go along with Luther's idea but for this year only. It's not easy for her as she has a difficult time going along with Luther's other plan in conjunction with the cruise -- skip everything Christmas altogether.

Big problems ensue with the neighbors mad at the Kranks for not decorating their house just like everyone else, Nora doesn't throw her annual Christmas Eve party which all their friends look forward to attending, and the Kranks find out at the last minute that someone very close to them is coming to town for Christmas. Uh oh!

On the grand scale of Christmas movies, either Made-for-TV or Big Screen releases, this one falls somewhere in the middle, maybe a bit above average. It was an alright fun time without being too inane or moronic. This doesn't have a super warm and fuzzy feeling of an ending; it's nice without being overly Kleenex sappy. Perhaps, though, that's exactly what a Christmas movie needs for it to truly be considered great. While this was an okay fun watch, there's nothing quite that memorable about it. Dan Aykroyd and Cheech Marin probably should have had bigger and better and definitely funnier roles. They were too limited. Maybe having Jamie Lee Curtis as the female lead just wasn't right. Did this movie really fail and am I just seeing it through red and green colored Christmas glasses? Good Christmas movies make you feel something. At times Christmas with the Kranks made me laugh a little but other than that it's kinda just eh. Oh well. Unless you're a fan of Tim Allen, I'm not sure I'd recommend this.


Wil said...

My take? The book was great; the movie was blah.

It missed the whole point on its way to trying for hilarious when all the story wanted to be was funny, in a sarcastic, sardonic manner.

I hate when that happens.

a.k.a. Zooomabooma said...

Far, far from great but I don't think it was pure blah, it had its moments, a few moments, some good laughs. I'm not necessarily looking forward to it but I might even watch it again someday down the line.

I didn't read the book but it's not surprising the book was better. That's usually the case so what I do is separate the two -- take each for what it's worth and not compare them to each other.

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated