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Showing 1-10 of 92 reviews(4 star).Show all reviews
138 of 163 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2004
Being a big fan of Christmas-themed movies and having read the John Grisham novel on which this was based, I was definitely looking forward to this movie. Therefore, despite Ebert's bad review, I convinced my family to see it after our Thanksgiving dinner. With two kids in college now, there aren't many chances for us to all go to a movie together. And maybe there's another reason for that----generational gap in taste. My husband and I enjoyed this alot, while our two offspring agreed it was probably the worst movie they had ever seen. There you have it, mixed reviews.

While it's true there is no earth-shaking revelation in this one (unless you count a reaffirmation of the true meaning of Christmas), no high-tech wizardry, no spectacular chase scenes, no lusty sex or mind-numbing profanity, I found this a most enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. What it did have was a look at the importance of family, friends, and community. What it did have was honest laughter and the realization that only an idiot would try to forego the most important holiday of all. The fact that the neighborhood looked more like one from 1954 instead of 2004 only added to the enjoyment for me. After all, nostalgia is a large part of the holiday, right?

For those unfamiliar with the story, Luther Krank (Tim Allen) is upset to realize that the cost of Christmas is about $6,000. A bit sad since his only child is now in the Peace Corps and will not be home for Christmas, he convinces his wife Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) that it would be foolish to spend all that money on decorations, donations, gifts, and their annual Christmas Eve bash. For less money, they could take a Caribbean cruise and enjoy life in the islands. Skipping Christmas sounds, at first, like a brilliant idea. But the neighbors won't allow it. Led by neighborhood watchdog Vic Frohmeyer (Dan Aykroyd), they insist on upholding traditions (like putting a giant Frosty on every rooftop) and do not take at all kindly to the Kranks' breaking with the wishes of the neighborhood. The twist comes at the last minute when the daughter decides she can't miss the Christmas celebrations she has always loved and flies in from Peru with her fiance. How will the Kranks explain the darkened house, no tree, no Frosty, and the fact they are sailing at noon?

While it is not the greatest Christmas movie I've ever seen, I did enjoy this one and recommend it for those not jaded by recent Hollywood offerings. If you like good clean movies that leave you smiling, this one's for you.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2005
Good for the whole family.

Nice to find a movie that is "safe" to watch around kids. not a "kid" movie, really, but, it's safe. Lighthearted, fun, a wee bit of slapstick humor.

Love Tim Allen, he was about the same guy that he is in all his movies. The father type that tries hard, but falls short, gets into a jam, and makes us laugh. Yup, that was him in this movie. but, he DID make me laugh. So, worth the price of a ticket. (or a dvd.)

Jamie Lee Curtis, can be annoying, but in this movie, she was sweet, a good complimentary wife to Tim. She is not as funny, but, did fine. She had some good lines too, actually.

The Daughter could have been played by any young 20 ish actress, she didn't get much airtime. Pleasant and cute though, as was the boyfriend that she brought home. He was adorable, but had a very small part.

A neighbor kid was played by Erik Per Sullivanrik, the little brother, Dewey, off Malcolm. Cute funny kid. The Boy Scout leader / nosey neighbor was a HOOT and done perfectly by Dan Aykroyd.

Me and my dear Norman popped some popcorn and cuddled on the sofa to watch this DVD, and we enjoyed it a lot. Not deep, by any means. Just a nice holiday fun.

You should buy it. Maybe buy from the nice sellers on Amazon that sell used, but perfect condition DVDs (shhhh... save some money that way!) a free tip from your Grandma Sally! ho ho ho!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
Saw "Christmas With The Kranks" when it first hit the theaters. It struck me as kind of dumb, somewhat obnoxious, and highly improbable. My wife and her sister laughed through the enitre movie. My brother-in-law and I looked at each other and shrugged. We didn't get it. I looked around the theater, and found most of those laughing - were women. Their dates were looking as bewildered as us. It was as if the movie was intended as an in-joke for women.

A year later, "Christmas With The Kranks" came out on DVD. I picked up a copy for my wife, and as you'd expect, she talked me into watching it with her. I found myself almost liking it. The next evening, with the house to myself - I decided to play it again. I don't even know why.

But, it all began to make sense. I could see what my wife, her sister, and all the women in the theater found so funny. It isn't the over-the-top, slapstick of Tim Allen (who I am a fan of). It's the subtle humor of the more true-to-life Jamie Lee Curtis. She's the perfect foil for Tim Allen. But more than that - she's the unsung STAR of this Christmas comedy. Once I understood that - the movie became very funny for me. Now, it's a staple of our Christmas classics viewing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
The movie, starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, is funny and enjoyable to watch. A must have for the holidays. Great family entertainment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2005
Sure there may be areas where the plot is, shall we say, lacking. And it is definatly no "Christmas Vacation" and it's no "Christmas Story": few movies are (that's what makes these ones so special!). But it is an entertaining and fun holiday film. The effects are cheezy, and the plot tends toward the sickly sweet, but it is Christmas after all. If you're looking for a good giggle this holiday season in between Christmas classics, I would recommend giving this a chance.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2005
I really enjoyed Christmas With The Kranks. The book "Skipping Christmas" by John Grisham was by far much better but was still very much entertained by the movie. Granted, at times it was slow. There was potential for more hilarity. Come on. It's Tim Allen. Skipping Christmas is not something many of us would even think of doing. After what the Krank's go through, I know I could NEVER do it. The harrassment from neighbors, friends and colleauges was unbelievable. Believe me, I will always "FREE FROSTY!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2009
I was prepared to really hate this movie, but upon catching it on TV one day, I found it to be funny and entertaining. The film isn't all "peace on earth; goodwill toward men". The negativity of the neighbors when the Kranks decide not to decorate is definitely not in keeping with the Christmas spirit, but OK, maybe that's how life is. But I found it to be somewhat of a turn-off. Why my four stars? Well, there were plenty of heartwarming moments...especially those involving the neighbor with cancer. AND there were plenty of hilarious moments too...such as the canned ham sequence. The neighbors redeem themselves when they all pull together when the Kranks need them. I know...that's not how it is in real life, but hey, it's Christmas! Normally, this kind of film would not be my cup of eggnog but I found it to have enough substance to make it worthwhile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2013
Set around a small subdivision with well meaning but intrusive neighbors, this comedy suffices as a movie that the typical white middle class American family can relate to. There is good chemistry and cynicism between this very reserved Chicago couple: Tim Allen and Jami Lee Curtis. All of the antics that go into a well meaning plan to skip Christmas for a "vacation for two", are hilarious. Plus, any movie with Dan Aykroyd can usually sum up a great comedic experience... and it does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I saw the movie when it originally came out back in 2004, which is based on the non-lawyer novel by John Grisham. The movie centers on the Kranks (played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis), who decide to skip the holidays and take a trip instead. Yes, it is predictable, but it has its funny moments.
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VINE VOICEon January 9, 2014
OK, this isn't the most profound Christmas movie ever made--we all know what that is already. Nothing will ever touch "It's a Wonderful Life" as far as great Christmas movies go--very few movies on any subject are that great. But nonetheless, "Christmas with the Kranks" is a fun movie that demands little in the way of emotional or intellectual devotion--it's just a sweet innocent family movie that was designed to make you feel good and hopefully make you laugh a few times and this movie does its job extremely well.

I first saw this film on TV and, because I didn't see it from the start, I ordered it online and, by sheer coincidence, it was the first movie I watched on my new TV. I think that both Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis are underrated comedic actors and they both play very likable characters in this film. Yes, of course, the story is contrived and silly and the screenplay has logic gaps that you could drive a Christmas-tree truck through, but it's still a fun film that everyone in the family can watch. And there are a few tender moments that are pretty well done.

One of the things that I love is the aerial footage of the neighborhood (probably just a model or done with CGI) with all the Christmas lights lit--some extremely pretty photography. The neighborhood in the film is a very idealized vision of suburbia, but that's OK--nothing wrong with playing to people's fantasies of what life should be.

Anyway, not a ground-breaking film by any means, but an extremely pleasant way to sip a cup of tea, eat a few Christmas cookies and enjoy some stress-free Christmas moments. I watched the movie after Christmas because, as much as I love Christmas movies, I've pretty much grown to loathe what has become of the holiday itself.

The frustrating thing for me in watching films like this is wondering: How close was this to being a great film if they had only hired better writers to punch up the script--or perhaps if they had left the original script alone? I'm going to read Grisham's book and see.
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