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Kranks

Christmas with the Kranks is a comedy film starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, based on John Grisham's 2001 novel Skipping Christmas, that was released on November 24, 2004. It was dedicated in memory of Alan King, who passed away in May 2004.

Synopsis[]

After Luther and Nora Krank see their daughter, Blair, depart for a Peace Corps assignment in Peru on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, empty nest syndrome sets in. Luther calculates they spent $6,132 during the holiday season last year and, not looking forward to celebrating Christmas without Blair, he suggests they invest the money usually spent on decorations, gifts, and entertainment and treat themselves to a ten-day Caribbean cruise instead. Skeptical at first, Nora finally agrees.

The Kranks are amazed to discover they are considered pariahs because of their decision. Luther's coworkers think he has become Ebenezer Scrooge, local stationer Aubie is distressed to lose their order for their engraved greeting cards and Christmas Eve party invitations, the Boy Scout troop is angered when they refuse to purchase one of their Christmas trees to help them make enough money for a camporee, and the police are stunned to discover they won't be buying this year's calendar from them. Most vocal in their objections are neighbors Vic Frohmeyer and Walt Scheel. Vic, the unelected leader of the street, organizes a campaign to force them to decorate their home so Hemlock Street won't lose the coveted award for best decorations. Walt doesn't seem to like Luther, so his efforts are primarily personal. However, it is revealed that his wife, Bev, is suffering from a serious illness, perhaps dampening his holiday spirits. Children picket, neighbors constantly call, and Christmas carolers try to revive the Kranks' holiday spirit by singing on their lawn, which Luther stops by freezing his sidewalk. Even the newspaper gets into the act by publishing a front page story stating that their street has lost the prize and won 6th place because the Kranks refused to decorate their house. Still, they continue to stand their ground.

The Kranks are in the process of packing on Christmas Eve morning when they receive a call from Blair, saying she's at Miami International Airport, coming home with Enrique, her Peruvian fiancé, as a surprise for them. She's anxious to introduce him to their holiday traditions, and when she asks if they're having their usual party that night, a panicked Nora says yes, much to Luther's dismay. Chaos ensues as they finds themselves trying to decorate the house and coordinate a party with only twelve hours to spare before Blair and Enrique arrive.

While Nora scrambles to find food, especially Blair's favorite ham, Luther buys a tree from the Boy Scouts but they only have a dead, ugly, non-green one left. He buys it anyway, but then rejects it by throwing it in his backyard. While Vic's children picket at Luther's house, he arranges to borrow the tree of a neighbor who is going away for a couple of days. He and Vic's son, Spike, try to transport it across the street on Spike's Radio Flyer wagon, only for the neighbors to think he's stealing it, and for him to be stopped by the police. Nora comes home enraged at Luther for making the Christmas tree a "disaster" and how she had to buy "smoked trout" to replace the ham (because it rolled into the street and got smashed by a truck). Once it is established why Luther is trying frantically to decorate the house, the neighbors come out full force to help them ready it for Blair, who calls to say she landed from Miami. Luther tries to answer the phone first so he can send her back to Peru, but Nora beats him to it.

After giving everybody, including Blair and Enrique, an unthankful and unfriendly toast, Luther tries to convince Nora to accept the cruise when she confronts him for the toast, but she refuses, disgusted that he isn't happy that Blair's home. He sadly slips out of the house and goes across the street to the Scheel home. Bev's cancer, once in remission, has returned and, knowing this may be their last holiday together, Luther insists they take the cruise in place of him and Nora, going so far as to offer to take care of their hated cat, Muffles. At first they decline, but ultimately they accept his generosity, and Luther, whose holiday spirit has been renewed, admits to Nora that skipping Christmas wasn't as good an idea as he originally thought, until she suggests they do it next year.

Songs[]

Title Performed by
"The Christmas Song"
"Typewriter"
"Sweet and Dandy" Toots & The Maytals
"The Twelve Days of Christmas"
"Hey Santa Claus"* The Chesterfield Kings
"Jingle Bell Rock"* Brenda Lee
Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5" (C Minor)
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" Billy May & His Orchestra
Alvin Stoller (vocal)
"Deck the Halls"
"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" Eddie Dunstedter
"Good King Wenceslas"
"White Christmas"
"Jingle Bells"
"Frosty the Snowman"
"Sock It to Me Santa" Bob Seger and The Last Heard
"Feliz Navidad"* Davie Allan & The Arrows with Little Steven
Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite: I-II. "March"* The Brian Setzer Orchestra
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
"Frosty the Snowman"* The Charms
"Blue Christmas"* Elvis Presley
"Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)"* Ramones
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" Darlene Love
"Joy to the World"* The Butties
"Navidad"* Rene Lavan
"C'mon Everybody"
"Blue Christmas"
"O Tannenbaum"
"Merry Christmas (To All of the World)"* Jean Beauvoir

* - Appeared in the soundtrack album

Availability[]

The movie was released on VHS, DVD and UMD (for PlayStation Portable) on November 8, 2005. A Blu-ray followed on November 16, 2021.

Cast[]

Actor/actress Character(s)
Tim Allen Luther Krank
Jamie Lee Curtis Nora Krank
Dan Aykroyd Vic Frohmeyer
M. Emmet Walsh Walt Scheel
Elizabeth Franz Bev Scheel
Erik Per Sullivan Spike Frohmeyer
Cheech Marin Officer Salino
Jake Busey Officer Treen
Tom Poston Father Zabriskie
Julie Gonzalo Blair Krank
Rene Lavan Enrique Decardenal
Caroline Rhea Candi
Felicity Huffman Merry
Patrick Breen Aubie
John Short Ned Becker
Bonita Friedericy Jude Becker
David Hornsby Randy Becker
Kevin Chamberlin Mr. Scanlon
Lyndon Smith Randy Scanlon
Ryan Pfening Gus Scanlon
Mark Lawrence Wes Trogden
Rachel L. Smith Trish Trodgen
Vernée Watson-Johnson Dox
Arden Myrin Daisy
Jan Hoag Choir Director
Joe Guzaldo Burglar
David Lander Tannign Intruder
Kim Rhodes
Patrick O'Connor
Office staffers
Doug Cox
Matt Walsh
Neighbors
Andrew Daly Husband
Dawn Didawick Shopper
Cary Thompson Manager
Julia Roth Cashier
Taylor Block
Eryn Gonsalves
Chelsea Broussard
Students
Paul Taylor Fireman
J.P. Romano Mailman
Uncredited
Victoria Chalaya Neighbor
Rose Colasanti Wife
Mark Correy Co-Worker
Laura Hall Caroler
Dava Hulsey Amanda Frohmeyer
Mitch Kalamian TSA Security
Cameron Lee Christmas Shopper
Sarah Loew Waitress
June Santiano Girl who screams at cat
Lauryn Wilson Girl

Accolades[]

The film won the 2005 Young Artist Award for Best Family Comedy Film. Chris Columbus's adapted screenplay won the 2004 Stinker Award for Worst Script.

External links[]

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Sony Pictures
Movies
Columbia Pictures 1941Christmas with the KranksThe HolidayArthur ChristmasPaul Blart: Mall CopThe Night BeforeThe Star
Screen Gems This Christmas
Direct-to-Video Buster & Chauncey's Silent NightThe Nuttiest NutcrackerThe Swan Princess Christmas
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