Since Luther (Tim Allen) Nora’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) daughter Blair is away in Peru, they’ve decided to skip Christmas in favor of a Carribean cruise. No tree. No decorations. No donations. No nothing. The neighbors are horrified since Christmas is community event that everyone is required to participate in. To skip Christmas is absolutely unheard of and downright scandelous!
Then Blair flys home for Christmas as a surprise and Luther and Nora’s Holiday plans get turned upside down as they scramble to throw their annual neighborhood Christmas party at the last minute. With a little help from their neighbors that they’ve been horribly rude to they might manage to make it in time before Blair arrives home.
The Santa Clause this is not. The first act of this movie was boring and not funny which is bad considering that Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis are two of the funniest actors working today. The combination of the two of them should’ve been the best thing ever but it wasn’t. Christmas with the Kranks is mean-spirited in tone and devoid of Christmas spirit for much of the film.
It does get better and funnier about halfway through. It’s nice to see the neighbors pull together to help the Kranks when they least deserve it. And Luther eventually learns to put others before himself. There’s also a heartwarming moment or two in here somewhere if you’re willing to sludge through this movie to find them. Christmas with the Kranks is a family-friendly mess with one use each of what the hell and damn. Not bad. But not great. Stream it now on Prime Video.