CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS
How the Krank Almost Stole Christmas
Release Date: November 24, 2004
Starring: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis,
Dan Aykroyd, Tom Poston, and
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 89 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Director: Joe Roth
Executive Producer: Bruce A. Block, Charles
Newirth and Suzanne Todd
Producer: Michael Barnathan, Chris
Columbus and Mark Radcliffe
Writer: Chris Columbus
BASED ON THE
NOVEL SKIPPING CHRISTMAS BY:
Address Comments To:Amy Pascal, Chairman
Chairman and CEO
Sony Pictures Entertainment
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com
Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis star as Luther and Nora Krank. The Kranks are facing a lonely Christmas season as their only daughter is going to be away from home for the first time. Instead of wallowing in sadness, Luther convinces Nora to go on a Caribbean cruise during Christmas week. They won’t put up any decorations, won’t give gifts, and will forego their annual Christmas party.
First, the Kranks’ neighbors get upset at Luther’s curmudgeonly behavior, then their whole town gets involved. No matter how much pressure is applied, Luther refuses to change his mind and acknowledge the season. When Luther and Nora’s daughter calls on Christmas Eve to announce that she’s coming home with her fiancée, her parents relent and scramble to decorate the house and plan their party.
That Luther turns from curmudgeon to a warm-hearted giver might seem cliché to some, especially in a holiday movie, but what’s neat about CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS is its clear analogy for Christ’s gift to us, which was first given at Christmas. After Luther gives in to the “Christmas spirit,” he gives something that’s very important to him to one of his neighbors who has been having a rough time. The humble neighbor is embarrassed to accept the valuable gift, but Luther tells him that the gift doesn’t have a price. The neighbor didn’t have to earn it or pay Luther back for it. This spirit of true giving is certainly modeled on the selflessness of Christ. Although we do not deserve Christ’s sacrificial gift of salvation, we can still receive it.
Luther also realizes the value of community and generosity, which are certainly biblical values. He comes to regret his selfish behavior. Even if we have heard these messages a thousand times before in movies, they are still relevant and important ones that can be taken to heart.
Tim Allen is actually quite funny and fun to watch as Luther Krank. Both he and Jamie Lee Curtis bring more to the movie than was probably required, which makes it a more human experience than just a slapstick-laden cartoon. Don’t make any mistake though – the movie is slapstick heavy, with lots of pratfalls and pranks.
CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS may not be destined to become a Christmas classic, but it’s a pleasant and relatively clean movie for the family to enjoy.
What’s special about CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS is its clear analogy to Jesus Christ’s gift to us. Luther gives something that’s very important to him to one of his neighbors, who has been having a rough time. Luther tells him that the gift doesn’t have a price and that he didn’t have to earn it or pay Luther back for it. This spirit of true giving is modeled on the selflessness of Christ. Despite minimal foul language and a few light innuendoes, most families won’t mind spending Christmas with the Kranks.