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Christmas Countdown: Christmas with the Cranks (2004)

The usual criticism of Christmas with the Cranks is that it encourages conformity through community intimidation.

The Kranks, a pair of newly empty-nesters (played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) decide to forego the hustle and bustle of Christmas and indulge themselves in a romantic getaway together. Their neighbours begrudge them this decision, and decide to make their lives a living hell of harassment and annoyance as comeuppance. The pod people neighbours' actions are disconcerting.

When the Kranks' extremely spoiled daughter surprises her parents on Christmas Eve that she'll be coming home for Christmas, they decide to make a mad dash attempt to put together their traditional Christmas Eve party in time for her arrival. Of course this can't happen without the help of the neighbours who bullied them throughout the rest of the film.

The film is supposed to speak in favour of community and tradition, but the actions of the neighbours are way overboard and the message is lost amid a sea of uncomfortable and disjointed asymmetric response.

There should be a director's cut of this where the Kranks flip their neighbours off on their way to the airport, after having alerted the police of what they'd been subjected to.

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