Danny DeVito moves across the street from Matthew Broderick. It’s Christmas time and DeVito has a dream of his house being seen from space. That gets him to string up as many Christmas lights and decorations on his house as he can. This pisses off Broderick who thinks of himself as the town’s ‘Christmas Guy’ and gets jealous and annoyed by the attention DeVito is getting.
Soon each of them are angry at each other, there’s a lot of asinine sight gags, prat falls, unfunny humor and a preposterously forced happy ending that will ensure Deck The Halls be one of those Christmas movies you don’t watch around the holidays. Or if you do decide to take a chance on it, to never look back at it again.
This movie is pretty damn bad.
The big joke here is the outlandish, shiny way DeVito decorates his house. And once you see it that joke is done. There’s no funny gradual progression with this house looking tackier and tackier as the movie goes along. It’s got a lot of lights on it and that’s it. Even when DeVito, buys more lights and decorations continuing to decorate the thing and its meant to get more ridiculous, the house doesn’t look much different from his first stab at Christmas decorating. So, the joke doesn’t get milked any further from the first scene we see it.
The rest of the movie consists of complete silliness as Broderick gets annoyed and tries to sabotage DeVito’s display. You know, he cuts the power to the lights. What a knee slapper that is. Luckily, DeVito has a generator. Whoa! In your face Matthew!
There’s lowbrow antics with Broderick going on a wild ride on a horse drawn sleigh, DeVito accidentally setting his Christmas trees on fire, both of them climbing naked into a sleeping bag together, some kind of off the wall speed skating race between them and them mistakenly oogling their own daughters ’cause they think they’re hot. Seriously!
Not a giggle was heard as I watched this flick. Not a creature was paying attention, not even my cat!
Their families get pissed at their juvenile behavior. Kristin Davis and Kristen Chenoweth have the thankless roles of crossing their arms a lot and lecturing their husbands. When they finally leave their hubby’s on Christmas that’s supposed to setup the big revelation of what’s really important about the holiday. It’s not the gaudy displays or the superficial artifact of the holiday – it’s really all about family and friends. That makes everyone stand up and sing.
DeVito and Broderick are both likable actors, but they can’t do anything with this movie. Maybe the idea of neighbors trying to one up one another with Christmas displays could be mined for laughs, but the movie doesn’t have anywhere to go after showing DeVito’s initial lightning display. After that the movie scraps whatever lowbrow laughs it can – and fails miserably with them.