Monday, December 15, 2008

Movie: "Christmas With the Kranks" (2004)

In 2004 my wife and I saw this movie at the theater and thought the movie was a "throwaway" movie to enjoy an afternoon with but nothing more. We came out of the theater really liking it and each Christmas it shows up on TV. Tonight we watched it again and it has held up over time. I remember our daughter back in 2004 told us she didn't like it. Maybe my wife and I like it because we identify with a couple whose child has grown up and moved away from home and they want to break with the traditions of Christmas past and do something new. If our adult children were not coming home for Christmas I also would be looking for something different. I do know that Halloween has lost it's charm since our kids grew up. The IMDB has a good synopsis of the movie:
For the first time, Luther Krank (Tim Allen) and his wife Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) are about to celebrate the holidays without their daughter Blair (Julie Gonzalo), who has just left for the Peace Corps in Peru. Luther sees a Caribbean cruise poster in a Chicago travel agency window, and he begins to plan the trip. First he must see how he will pay for the trip, so he comes up with an idea that if they skipped Christmas, they could go. He will save money by not buying a tree, having a party, or putting up decorations. The neighbors think he is crazy and want him to at least put Frosty the Snowman on his roof for the local decoration contest. The battle begins between the Kranks and their neighbors. Then Blair calls and tells her parents that she is flying home for Christmas with her fiancée. They have twenty-four hours to put up all the decorations and prepare for the Christmas party. The movie was based on a John Grisham book, 'Skipping Christmas'. Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)

The movie is not for the sophisticated but it has a certain sweetness to it. It also shows a a world where neighbors know and support one another which is a a world disappearing from popular entertainment and perhaps from the real world. A community of shared traditions is disappearing and that is too bad.