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Kranks

Christmas with the Kranks is a 2004 comedy film directed by Joe Roth and starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. The screenplay, which is based on the 2001 novel Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, is written by Chris Columbus, who won the 2004 Stinker Award for Worst Screenplay. It won the 2005 Young Artist Award for Best Family Comedy Film.

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 previous year's holiday season 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 as a result 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 upset and 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, who's 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 them by freezing his sidewalk. Even the newspaper gets into the act by publishing a front page story complete with a photograph of the unlit Krank house and states that their street has lost the prize and won 6th place because of how they 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, who announces she's at Miami International Airport, en route 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. Comic chaos ensues as they finds themselves trying to decorate the house and coordinate a party with only twelve hours to spare before Blair & 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 one left; a dead, ugly, non-green one. He buys it anyway but 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 confuse this to be him stealing it, and to be stopped by the police, who assume they have stopped a robbery in progress. 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. She calls to say she landed from Miami. Luther tries to answer the phone first so he can send her back to Peru, but fails; Nora beats him to it.

After giving everybody, including Blair and Enrique, a unthankful and non-friendly 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 he, whose holiday spirit has been renewed, realizes that skipping Christmas wasn't as good an idea as he had originally thought.

Songs

Song titlePerformed by
"The Christmas Song
  • The Raveonettes
  • Ella Fitzgerald
"Typewriter"
"Sweet and Dandy"Toots & The Maytals
"The Twelve Days of Christmas"
"Hey Santa Claus"The Chesterfield Kings
"Jingle Bell Rock"Brenda Lee
"Symphony No. 5 in C Minor"Beethoven (composer)
"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"
  • Dean Martin
  • Duplex
  • Tina Sugandh
"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
"The Nutcracker Suite"The Brian Setzer Orchestra
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
"Frosty the Snowman"The Charms
"Blue Christmas"Elvis Presley
"Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna to Fight Tonight)"Ramones
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"Darlene Love
"Joy to the World"The Butties
"Navidad"
"C'mon Everybody"
"Blue Christmas"
"O Tannabaum"
"Merry Christmas (To All of the World)"Jean Beauvoir

Cast

Actor/actressCharacter(s)
Tim Allen*Luther Krank
Jamie Lee CurtisNora Krank
Dan AykroydVic Frohmeyer
M. Emmet WalshWalt Scheel
Elizabeth FranzBev Scheel
Erik Per SullivanSpike Frohmeyer
Cheech MarinOfficer Salino
Jake BuseyOfficer Treen
Austin PendletonUmbrella Santa (Umbrella)
Marty
Tom PostonFather Zabriskie
Julie GonzaloBlair Krank
René LavanEnrique Decardenal
Caroline RheaCandi
Felicity HuffmanMerry
Patrick BreenAubie
John ShortNed Becker
Bonita FriedericyJude Becker
David HornsbyRandy Becker
Kevin ChamberlinMr. Scanlon
Lyndon SmithRandy Scanlon
Ryan PfeningGus Scanlon
Mark LawrenceWes Trogden
Rachel L. SmithTrish Trodgen
Vernée Watson-JohnsonDox
Arden MyrinDaisy
Jan HoagChoir Director
Joe GuzaldoBurglar
David LanderTannign Intruder
Kim Rhodes
Patrick O'Connor
Office staffers
Doug Cox
Matt Walsh
Victoria Chalaya (uncredited)
Neighbors
Andrew DalyHusband
Dawn DidawickShopper
Cary ThompsonManager
Julia RothCashier
Taylor Block
Eryn Gonsalves
Chelsea Broussard
Students
Paul TaylorFireman
J.P. RomanoMailman
Uncredited
Rose ColasantiWife
Mark CorreyCo-Worker
Laura HallCaroler
Dava HulseyAmanda Frohmeyer
Mitch KalamianTSA Security
Cameron LeeChristmas Shopper
Sarah LoewWaitress
June SantianoGirl (Screams at Cat)
Lauryn WilsonGirl

* - Nominated for the 2005 Kids Choice Award for Favorite Actor

Home video releases

External links

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