“Deck the Halls”

Deck the Halls

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
Theatrical release: November 22, 2006

A slapstick comedy starring Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito, Deck The Halls tackles the Christmas spirit with lights, music, and plenty o’ pratfalls–none of which makes much sense in this floundering film.  Steve Finch (Broderick) is a persnickety dentist who enjoys being the town’s go-to guy when it comes to all things Christmas. Buddy Hall (DeVito) is his new neighbor–a car salesman who finds that decorating the exterior of his house in bright, garish decorations and lights makes him feel like the big man he never was. His goal is for his Lite-Brite house to be visible from space.

Why? It’s better not to ask, because there really is no logical explanation. As Buddy says, “Sometimes my stupidity astounds me.” The same could be said for Steve and this movie.

While the characters’ wives (played by Kristin Davis and Kristin Chenoweth) are more relatable, their fast friendship is unbelievable–especially when they side with each other rather than their husbands. Though there are some funny moments (a dirty manger scene with a spitting camel comes to mind), Deck The Halls spends way too much time asking the audience to root for a pair of wannabe alpha males who have little redeeming value.

Both DeVito (Get Shorty, Taxi) and Broderick (Election, WarGames) have formidable resumes and deserve better than this movie, which offers strong visuals but a barely-there plot. “How’s it feel to be invisible?” Steve rhetorically asks.

Sometimes, being invisible is better than just being bad.

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