25 Days of Christmas: Day 15 CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS

Christmas with the kranks

A classic Christmas comedy that I read almost every year.

Day 15 is here. 10 days to go till Christmas. So for day 15 I have chosen a movie about an entire neighborhood that comes together to help their friends.

Christmas with the Kranks

Director: Joe Roth

“With their daughter away, her parents decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holidays at the last minute.”

Christmas with the Kranks is a 2004 American Christmas comedy film directed by Joe Roth and stars Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. The screenplay by Chris Columbus (director of Home Alone) is based on the 2001 novel Skipping Christmas by John Grisham.  I first saw this film when it came out in 2004. Once I learned it was based off the book by John Grisham, I went out and purchased the book and have read it a few times now. The book is great and so is the movie. I recommend you read it and then watch it.

The story revolves around Luther Krank (Tim Allen) and Nora Krank (Jamie Lee Curtis) who just said goodbye to their daughter, Blair played by Julie Gonzalo who is leaving for a Peace Corps assignment in Peru on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. After a few weeks Nora is sad her daughter is gone and when Blair calls home to tell them she wont be coming home for Christmas Nora gets even more depressed. Luther trying to figure a way to cheer his wife up calculates the couple spent $6,132 during the previous year’s holiday season. With no kids coming home for Christmas, he suggests they invest the money usually spent on decorations, gifts, and food to treat themselves to a ten-day Caribbean cruise instead. Nora is hesitant at first but finally agrees. The Kranks soon discover they are now considered pariahs as a result of their decision. Co-workers are unhappy that Luther refuses to donate or take part in gift exchanges as he explains they are not taking part in Christmas this year. The neighbors are mad that there won’t be a Krank’s Christmas Party this year, nor are they putting up any decorations which usually every neighbor takes part in. The two are in the process of packing on Christmas Eve morning when they receive a call from Blair, who announces she’s is coming home with her Peruvian fiance as a surprise for her parents. She’s anxious to introduce Enrique to her family’s holiday traditions, and when she asks if they’re having their usual party that night, a panicked Nora says yes. Now hilarity ensues as the Kranks try to throw together all their Christmas traditions and preparations into one evening before Blair gets home. Luckily the neighbors and friends that the Kranks shunned earlier all come to the rescue and help get the food, tree and decorations all ready so Blair can come home to a traditional family Christmas.

The film stars Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis as Luther and Nora Krank. Julie Gonzalo plays Blair Krank (their daughter). Dan Aykroyd plays Vic Frohmeyer, the Kranks’ neighbor. M. Emmet Walsh plays Walt Scheel and Elizabeth Franz plays Bev Scheel, Walt’s wife. Cheech Marin and Jake Busey play 2 police officers and friends of the family. There is even a brief cameo with Jerry Seinfeld.

A few of my favorite scenes are in the grocery store, when Mrs. Krank is trying to get a canned ham that is tradition for the Kranks while she is battling other customers looking for last minute items. Almost all the scenes with Dan Aykroyd are great too. The constant badgering by the neighborhood kids about freeing Frosty and decorating their house.

Here is the scene in the grocery store from the movie:

The soundtrack for Christmas with the Kranks is fantastic. It features many holiday standards, including “Jingle Bell Rock” by Brenda Lee; “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Billy May & His Orchestra with vocal by Alvin Stoller; “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Eddie Dunstedter; “White Christmas” by Dean Martin; “Frosty the Snowman” by Steve Van Zandt; “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley; and “The Christmas Song” by Ella Fitzgerald.

I still enjoy reading the book about every other year and watching the movie about the same. Christmas with the Kranks is a movie the whole family can just sit back enjoy and laugh, still while learning what Christmas is all about. Family, Friends, and Frosty!

Here is the trailer for Christmas with the Kranks:

I have a feeling this might not be the only Tim Allen film on the countdown this year. Make sure to keep checking back every day as our countdown continues and see what films we choose for the final week.


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