Christmas with the Kranks (2004)


I used to say that I’ve yet to see a film with Tim Allen that I found to be really bad. And somehow he rises to the occasion and stars in this. I should have kept my creed to myself. I got a big mouth. Either way, if you haven’t caught on by now, “Christmas with the Kranks” is yet another really shitty “holiday” film that’s a mere vehicle that delights in being idiotic, moronic, and shamelessly flaunts its inherent lapses in logic peppered throughout the story.

The Kranks’ daughter Blair has left home, and their usual yuletideness is put on hold for a while. You see the Kranks devote themselves to charity and the holidays every year, and this year they want a break for themselves. And the neighbors despise that about them. Bad Kranks, how dare you. So, the neighbors snap in to action and protest, BUT their bitch daughter Blair has decided on the last minute to come home, and now they have to reverse their plans and get Christmas to their home leading to forced physical comedy, a lot of screaming, gross out gags, and the usual stuff we’ve seen over a thousand times… oh yes, and it’s a holiday film. I guess the first question I asked myself throughout the entire film, which I’m sure you will: Why should these people care if the Kranks don’t celebrate Christmas at all?

Well, not even the writers seem to care, nor do they seem to want to convince us why these neighbors put up such a protest, but “Kranks” really edges on utterly fascist (and not in the funny sense) which these upper class neighbors become enraged at the prospect of not celebrating a holiday. And The Kranks become that much more unlikable when they explain to the neighbors why, and feel they have to apologize for it. Hmm, a predominantly white neighborhood that strictly celebrates Christmas and becomes militant when two of its white residents refuse to celebrate Christmas for one year? The Red States would love this movie! I didn’t.

“Kranks” is an idiotic and ugly “holiday” film that has no real focus in sight, nor does it seem to know what sort of message it’s attempting to get out to the audience. It’s quite possibly one of the more artificial films to come along in a while, that talks down to its audience with a ridiculously condescending messy story. Roth’s film is embarrassingly reliant on physical comedy and “quirky misunderstandings” that fuel the pointless unfunny blathering from beginning to end. Further pushing manufactured artificial holiday films seems to be what Hollywood is going for these days. With films like “Surviving Christmas” and now this, one can only wonder how much dumber these sorts of films will become. “Christmas with the Kranks” is a grueling experience.