Most helpful critical review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2014
The book WAS better, folks! Yep. First off, I have to say that if this is someone's idea of a happy holiday, then I'd rather be stuck with lumps of coal in my stocking. Poor Luther Krank (Tim Allen) talllies up how much he spent the previous Christmas and decides that with their daughter off in Peru, he and the wife should take a Christmas cruise instead. Nora Krank (Jaime Lee Curtis) reluctantly goes along with her miserly husband's scheme, much to the consternation of the nosy neighbors. For one thing, this movie is annoying in that the hapless Kranks are bullied left and right by their so-called neighbors. The Kranks' blonde Barbie doll of a daughter, Blair, is off on a Peace Corps mission in Peru and Luther doesn't see the value in spending money on local charities, expensive Christmas parties, and lugging a giant snowman to pin to his roof just so the whiny neighbors can win some award for best decorations. Luther is a very smart man.
Unlike his neighbors who proceed to harass him and Nora, thinking he's Scrooge for not giving in to the annual holiday celebration of greed and materialism. When not being threatened with bodily violence for not nailing Frosty to his roof, Luther and Nora are busy tanning themselves at the local mall, losing weight, and trying the latest in Botox. The humor in this movie is forced and comes at a high price. Poor Nora takes the brunt of victimization when she's trying to tan at the mall and ends up banging her head. When she clomps off to find a band-aid, the local priest sees poor Nora cowering in her teeny bikini and deduces that she is bound for hell. She stumbles through an explanation, but I didn't think she had to explain anything. I also found the local neighborhood busybodies' intimidation of Luther and Nora to be profoundly disturbing. They have to hide in their basement and Nora has to sneak out of her own house. Ridiculous and all for some stupid Christmas decorations!
Seems the Kranks' neighbors are indeed one with the Christmas spirit. More along the lines of the 7 Deadly Sins. They are a covetous, sniveling greedy bunch who would rather condemn Luther for deciding to skip Christmas, rather than ask him why. If I had neighbors like these, I'd sell and get the heck out, leaving Frosty's shattered remains trailing behind my car. But I digress. The vapid and spoiled Blair suddenly calls and informs her parents that she's coming home!
Ugh, what is with this kid? Instead of telling the brat they're taking a cruise and good luck in finding the key under the mat, Luther and Nora spend the last half of the movie racing to find what's left of the Christmas trappings they so wanted to leave behind. Luther buys a dead tree and then pleads with a neighbor to let him borrow his. Nora must find a particular honey ham that Blair just has to have. And of course, the nosy neighbors start sniffing and giggling when poor Luther nearly kills himself trying to put that stupid snowman on his roof.
When told about daughter dearest returning home for the Kranks' annual holiday party and all that, the neighbors decide Blair shouldn't be punished for her father's miserly ways. I found the whole neighbors banding together at the last minute a little farfetched. One minute they're salivating over Luther's desperate search for trees and near death, the next they are ready to help out with turkeys and decorations galore. All for the purpose of pleasing a spoiled little princess who can only think of her ham and caramel pie. She doesn't ask once what her parents wanted to do. She assumes Christmas is on and even lugs along her new boyfriend to show off at the party.
This movie is distasteful on so many levels, I can't even list them all. But aside from the general all-around nastiness, you have Dan Aykroyd wasted as the neighborhood Stalin, Cheech Marin and Jake Busey as the Keystone Cops, and Austin Pendleton as Santa Claus. Watching this mess of a movie, I wished that Luther and Nora had taken that trip and told their selfish daughter and the nasty neighbors to stick a candy cane where the sun doesn't shine.
But they don't.The ending is supposed to redeem Luther in some way, but I thought it was a little contrived. The whole thing is a mess from start to finish with the only funny thing when Luther is so Botoxed, he can't eat his peaches and they keep slipping out of his mouth. Other than that, do yourself a favor and watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation instead.
One star. Jamie Lee and Timmie were utterly wasted in this. I kept hoping Michael Meyers would show up and show someone how to a stuff a turkey.