Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: Christmas with the Kranks

Howdy, everyone! Welcome back to Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, I’m going through and reviewing some of the worst Christmas movies ever made. I started this journey with movies from way back in the 1950’s and have finally made it to more or less the modern day. And, boy, has it been painful. Let’s not waste anymore time and just get to today’s movie.

Christmas with the Kranks is a family comedy from 2004, starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. They play the Kranks, a family who normally goes way overboard on Christmas. However, this year, they learn that their daughter is not going to home for the holidays and decide to take advantage of the situation by skipping Christmas altogether. And, I mean skip it. Like, they go out of their way to make it as hard for themselves as possible. They’re really, really jerks about it to their neighborhood that tries to push it on them. This hurts the movie quite a bit, because it sort of ends up hard to root for them. You could argue that that’s the point, but the neighbors aren’t very likeable either. I pretty much hated everyone here. The Kranks are too pushy and braggadocious about the fact that they’re not having Christmas and the neighbors are too nosy and pushy about it too. They all come across as jerks and who wants to watch a Christmas movie filled to the brim with jerks? The second half of the movie really suffers for it to, as all of these people are supposed to come together for the good of the holiday. Nah, screw all of these guys. Each and every one.

Christmas with the Kranks is also super unfunny. It’s the kind of comedy where you get angry at yourself whenever you crack a smile. Because you know that you’re better than that. This is super low brow stuff. People falling down, getting electrocuted, or just being injured in general is peak level comedy in this movie. And, some of the jokes are even cheaper. Why is it funny that Tim Allen is wearing a speedo? Or that he has Botox? Because he’s a man? You’ve seen each and every one of these gags before. And you’ve seen them done better. This is all just so incredibly lazy. It’s all edited together like a live action cartoon too. You know, that weird over the top style they busted out in the 90s when making The Flintstones, Rocky and Bullwinkle, or Scooby Doo. It’s like they’re trying to balance making a semi-realistic movie and something even the dumbest eight year old could enjoy. It just does not work. And, it’s disappointing too, because this could’ve been decent. I’ve seen the cast be funny before. Every “joke” here though falls completely and utterly flat.

I will give this movie credit where it’s due though. There was one scene towards the end that was legitimately touching. Tim Allen’s character does something really nice for a neighbor he doesn’t get along with, because he knows that they’ve had a rough year. It’s really sweet and heartwarming. Plus, it seemed like authentic, not trying too hard acting from everyone involved. I wish the whole movie was like this. Give us people. Real people. Not some overexaggerated proximity.

And, that’s really all I’ve got to say about Christmas with the Kranks. It’s not the worst Christmas movie I’ve seen, but it’s closer to the bottom than it is the top. It just feels like such wasted potential. The idea wasn’t bad. The cast is talented. They just failed to make anything that was funny, because they almost didn’t try. Instead of writing something real, they just had people fall down a bunch. And, man, that’s just not what Christmas movies are about.

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