Christmas With The Kranks is a Christmas comedy film, the plot follows Luther,( Tim Allen) and Nora Krank, (Jamie Lee Curtis), as a couple who decide to skip Christmas and, go on a tropical getaway instead; this runs them afoul of a lot of people in their neighborhood who try and, get them to change their mind.
Narratively this film is a mess it makes absolutely no sense what so ever, whenever the film seems to be going one way it goes the other, almost as though it is trying to be perplexing; this means you can’t invest in the characters or, anything that is going on as you don’t understand and, therefore don’t care.
The characters and, their motivations range from strange to downright bizarre an example of this would be Dan Aykroyd’s character, Vic. Vic seems to have something about Christmas he is obsessed with it he wants Luther and, Nora to celebrate it so much he breaks several laws trying to force them into it. If this is supposed to be funny, it doesn’t come across that way; it is more like creepy and unsettling.
However, it wasn’t only Aykroyd’s character that is done a disservice here, most of the characters are intensely dislikable and, I get it this film is the mean spirited sort of Christmas comedy, but even still these are just the worst sort of people, self-obsessed, no regard for others, trying to enforce their personal world view onto other people and, worst of all our protagonists fall into these sort of character traits as well; making them very hard to root for.
As I said before this film is mean spirited through and through if you view it through the lens of what does it say about Christmas? Does it have a nice message? Then this film stands out drastically from a lot of the more wholesome fare, a lot of the film suggests the most important thing in the world is doing what you want, other people be damned. However, in the film’s third act it does try and, cram in that wholesome festive message, but the issue is that the rest of the film is so tonally opposite to this that the final Christmas message almost feels like a bad joke; cheap and meaningless.
Overall this film doesn’t make me feel any Christmas cheer if anything it makes me question the meaning of the season. Jamie Lee Curtis is trying her best but, not even she can save this mess of a film. This goes to show that the bar for holiday entertainment is set perilously low.
Reviewed by Luke