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Throwback Thursday - Christmas with the Kranks

30 Dec 2021

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Throwback Thursday is a weekly article in which we look back at our favorite TV episodes from the past. However, to celebrate the holidays, we will be spotlighting a Christmas movie instead of our usual TV shows throughout December.

Christmas with the Kranks
is one of my favorite Christmas movies.  My family and I watch it together every year during the holidays.  And, yes, I know Christmas is over, but there's not a rule that says you can't watch a Christmas movie after December 25th.

Christmas with the Kranks premiered in 2004 and stars Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Dan Aykroyd.  All of the actors bring strong performances, but these three especially shine during the entire movie.  At the beginning of the movie, Nora (Curtis) and Luther (Allen) send their daughter, Blair, off to the peace corps and decide to skip Christmas and take a cruise on December 25th instead.  This seems like a wonderful idea at first, but problems quickly arise, and this turns into a hilarious movie.

First, Luther refuses to buy a Christmas tree from the neighborhood kids or buy a calendar from the police department.  Then Nora and Luther decide not to put Frosty up on their roof or decorate their house.  This infuriates their neighbors and starts a war between Luther and the rest of the neighborhood.  Christmas carolers sing annoyingly in front of the Kranks' house.  Then Luther turns his front yard into a skating rink and the carolers crash.  And last, but certainly not least, the neighbor's cat gets frozen, too.

One of the funniest parts of the Kranks preparing for their cruise is the tanning bed scene.  Luther thinks they need to get a tan before the cruise so he buys them ridiculous bathing suits (that Nora thinks should be "outlawed") and takes them to the tanning bed at the mall.  The lady that works there is orange.  Nora has an unfortunate incident and bumps her head, and the tanning bed lady is very unhappy when Nora has the nerve to ask for another towel after asking for a band aid.  "I'm looking for a band-aid.  Geez lady make up your mind."  

Poor Nora.  She's standing in the tanning bed in a too-small bikini when Father Zabriskie comes and asks her about the plan to skip Christmas.  I laugh so hard at this part every time and Jamie Lee Curtis completely nails Nora's humiliation and embarrassment.

When Christmas Eve rolls around, Nora's hanging on by a thread.  She feels like she can't talk to Luther because he's consumed with his cruise and getting back at all of their neighbors (he even got botox!) and she's depressed because there aren't any Christmas decorations at their house.  But there's only one more day until they leave for their vacation and she feels better as they pack.  But soon everything changes because Blair calls!  And guess what?  Blair's coming home for Christmas!

In 5 minutes Luther goes from being a genius to an idiot.  The plan to go on a cruise is off, and Nora declares they will have their Christmas Eve party!  She heads to the grocery store to get food, but fails in securing the hickory honey ham.  Honestly, I'm surprised she didn't end up in a psych hold because she looked like she needed therapy laying in the middle of the road screaming and crying.  

Luther is in charge of decorating the house.  The neighbors notice him stealing a tree and after he almost ends up in the ER after a a run in with Frosty, Vic Frohmeyer (Aykroyd) gathers all the neighbors together to help the Kranks plan a Christmas Eve party.  While Luther doesn't necessarily deserve their help, Vic makes them see that Blair does.  Blair is coming home and deserves a nice party for her and her boyfriend.

Somehow the neighborhood pulls off a Christmas miracle and gets the Krank house ready.  Neighbors, friends, and co-workers (and the tanning bed lady!) arrive at the party while Blair and Enrique (or "N-Reeky") are picked up from the airport by the police officers.  My absolute favorite part of Christmas with Kranks is when Blair arrives home while "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love plays in the background.  The lights, the music, the joy of Blair seeing her family again is just wonderful.

Luther finally finds the Christmas spirit at the end of the movie.  He gives the tickets for the cruise to Bev and Walt.  It was a very nice gesture, and it makes Nora happy.  It was nice that Luther finally decided to give something back after everything their neighborhood did for him and Nora.  

Is Christmas with the Kranks one of your favorite Christmas movies?  What do you love about the movie?