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Comedy Movies - Deck the Halls - Broderick / De Vito

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Deck The Halls
Matthew Broderick, Danny De Vito
Directed by John Whitesell
Fox Home Video 2007
93 minutes

Turkey, anyone? Deck the Halls goes down for the count very early on and only occasionally wobbles up before hitting the mat again and again. After a while you wish someone would put you out of your misery.

The premise of this Danny De Vito Matthew Broderick Christmas movie is the new guy in town, De Vito, decides he wants his house to be visible from space because of how many Christmas lights he has on it. This greatly annoys his new neighbor (Broderick). The two men end up competing against each other until they lose the "real meaning of Christmas". Will they find it again? Duh! It's a Christmas movie.

Deck the Halls does not work mainly because the two main characters do not work. Right from the start Buddy Hall (De Vito) is shown to be an underhanded thief (and a car salesman) so very little he does after that is amusing or endearing. Broderick is blander than milquetoast as optometrist Steve Finch, an anal retentive guy for whom Christmas is everything.

Willing suspension of disbelief is necessary for any movie to work. Deck the Halls gives you very few chances to establish that. The fact nobody in the movie is quite sure why Steve Finch first hates Hall's lights and why all this somehow becomes a battle to the finish is just one of the many plot holes you could drive a sleigh through.

Finch's final act of revenge makes little sense. You also keep wondering why he doesn't simply pull the plug on his neighbor's light display as most of it is plugged into Finch's house.

Everything gets wrapped up in the last ten minutes but this is a present you should not open.



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