Christmas with the Kranks.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to another #moviemonday. I hope that you are all enjoying the month of December. I have been busy getting into the festive spirit. We’ve decorated our house, I have done my Christmas shopping. I am wrapping Christmas presents everyday. Christmas FM is playing in the car, I am watching Christmas movies all the time and I am loving this festive season.

So let’s dive into #moviemonday because it is time for one of my absolute favourite Christmas movies. Today I am talking about Christmas with the Kranks. Every year, after the house is decorated, we pour a glass of baileys and we sit down to watch Christmas with the Kranks, and this movie is one of those movies where I feel it is not Christmas unless I have watched it.

This movie was released in 2004. It was directed by Joe Roth. The movie is based on the book Skipping Christmas by John Grisham.

Plot.

It is the holiday season Luther and Nora Krank drop their only daughter Blair off at the airport as she is off to a Peace Corps assignment in Peru. When their only child is gone, Nora and Luther reflect over the fact that Christmas just won’t be the same without her. Nora is the Christmas Queen. She knits, she bakes, she wears a festive vest, her entire house is decorated, she throws an annual Christmas Eve party that everyone in town always looks forward to, so she is finding Blair’s absence particularly hard. Luther calculates how much they usually spend on Christmas and when he sees that they could save money by going on a cruise, the movie follows Luther as he ropes Nora into his plan of taking one year off to go on a cruise since Blair won’t be there. That’s right, the Kranks are skipping Christmas … or at least they are trying to, because when friends, colleagues, and neighbours find out, they can’t believe it. All is going well for Luther’s plan, until Blair calls and says she will be home for Christmas after all, and then it is up to the Kranks to pull off a Christmas miracle because they only have a few hours to put together their famous Christmas Eve party.

Characters.

This movie has a brilliant ensemble of characters, and there is not a set protagonist and antagonist, because at times, it is Luther who seems like the antagonist.

Luther Krank is practical. He is stubborn. He wants to get away and he cannot see the issue with skipping Christmas just for one year. The subject becomes a matter of principle for Luther because when his friends, coworkers, and neighbours protest, he becomes determined to show them that he can skip Christmas if he chooses to to do so. Luther becomes so obsessed with his plan, he begins to act selfishly and he loses sight of what the Christmas season is all about.

Nora Krank is my favourite character in this movie. She is kind, she is generous, she is very caring. Nora loves Christmas and throughout the movie she struggles to go along with Luther’s plan, and she dislikes his selfish behaviour. Nora embodies the true Christmas spirit as all she wants to do is have the perfect Christmas Eve party for Blair and her new fiancé because to Nora, Christmas is a time to be spent with loved ones. I love Nora and I think one of the best moments in this movie is when she puts her red vest back on and announces that there is no way that the Kranks are skipping Christmas.

Vic Frohmeyer is the self-appointed mayor of the neighbourhood, and when he finds out that the Kranks want to skip Christmas, he and the rest of the community are shocked. I think that Vic is a great character. He seems like he could be an antagonist, but actually he is just a family man, who loves his community, and when it turns out that Blair is coming home, it is Vic who rallies the neighbourhood into throwing the perfect party for Blair even though they are all fed up of Luther’s selfish attitude. He is a leader, and he is a very funny one.

Walt and Bev Shields live directly across the street from the Kranks. Walt and Luther bicker throughout the entire movie because they do not get along. Bev is fighting cancer and this year will most likely be her last Christmas.

There are a few other characters who are great, Vic’s son Spike, Blair’s fiancé Enrique, and Marty who no one knows but he somehow knows everyone – no spoilers here, watch the movie.

The entire cast is brilliant and funny and there is no better pairing to play Luther and Nora than Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. They are fantastic.

Themes.

This is a cheesy, funny, Christmas movie. The themes are love, family, community, and the true meaning of Christmas. I think that is perfectly fine to enjoy a cheesy, feel-good movie at Christmas time. This is a light-hearted movie but there are some lovely, heartfelt moments. In this movie, Luther becomes so obsessed with proving a point that he pushes everyone away and he forgets how lucky he is and what the true meaning of Christmas is about. Christmas is a time to be spent with those we love, it is about sharing and coming together, and celebrating one another. Luther is blessed to have a healthy family that he loves, and he is finally reminded of this when he sees Walt and Bev eating alone. Bev is dying, their son has not come home in years and just a few hours ago, Luther was complaining that Blair flew thousands of miles to surprise him. This moment really puts everything into perspective for Luther. I love this movie, and I love the message in it. Christmas can be a stressful time, for some it can be a very lonely time, and it is important to be grateful for the good things that we have, it is especially important to be grateful for the people that we have, whether they be family or friends that we have chosen as family. The movie also shows us how it is important to not get carried away with blinders on, because even if you are striving for something, it still is not okay to act selfishly or hurt others along the way. I would describe the tone of this movie as nostalgic and cosy. It is not too deep, and the heartfelt moments aren’t too heavy or trying too hard. It is simply a funny yet heartfelt Christmas movie with a very wholesome message.

Structure.

This movie is 98 minutes long. It is short and easy to follow and I would say that it follows a three-act structure. The beginning of the movie is the Kranks dealing with empty nest syndrome and Luther puts together his plan of taking a cruise. The middle of the movie, the second-act shows the fallout between Luther and his community as he digs his heels in and becomes obsessed with proving his point. The turning point of this movie that launches us into act-three is when Blair calls to say she is on her way home. This sends Luther’s plan crashing to the ground and the third-act of the movie is the frantic race to get the house ready for the party. It is really easy to follow, and it is really fun, and as I said earlier, it is a light-hearted movie to watch and I think that it really puts you into a festive mood.

Final Thoughts.

I will most likely watch Christmas with the Kranks again before Christmas this year. I will continue to watch it every year. If you have not seen it then I cannot recommend it enough. It’s fun, it’s heartfelt, it’s cosy, and it is a perfect movie to add to your list of Christmas movies.

This has been Movie Monday. I hope you enjoyed it. Have you seen Christmas with the Kranks?What movie puts you into a festive mood? Let me know.

Kate xo.

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