Earnest performances by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis make this holiday trifle tolerable at times. But laughs are scarce, and the tinsel-thin story based on John Grisham’s “Skipping Christmas” plays out like two separate one-note jokes. Allen and Curtis are a couple opting out of Christmas in favor of a Caribbean cruise since their daughter, who’s joined the Peace Corps, won’t be home for the holidays. When she calls on Christmas Eve to say she’s coming after all, they bustle about to create an instant holiday for their little girl. Both halves of the movie essentially are two shallow successions of gags strung together repetitively by director Joe Roth and screenwriter Chris Columbus. Dan Aykroyd co-stars. Rated: PG for brief language and suggestive content. Running time: 98 minutes. Rating: 2 out of 4 stars.

– David Germain, AP Movie Writer


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