Poor Matthew Broderick, normally so reliable, gets sucked into the nonsense here in short order. He's Steve Finch, a small-town optometrist and generally good guy, but when Buddy Hall (Danny Devito), a car salesman, comes to town, his world is quickly upended. Buddy decides he won't rest until his home is visible from space, so he sets out to prove his non-loserness by setting up an absurdly elaborate light show on his house across the street from Steve. This thrills the locals but annoys Steve, and a rivalry develops in typical movie fashion. Steve tries to knock out Buddy's power with fireworks. Buddy responds by adding a blaring audio track to the light show.
You see where this is headed, right?
Never mind that you can see a small car from space, the blatant obviousness of that plot point is almost irrelevant. That's because the rest of Deck the Halls is so banal and pat that I promise you won't care. Gosh, do you think when Buddy and Steve cat-call "Who's your daddy!?" to the "Santa babies" at the local Christmas show they'll turn out to be their respective daughters? Think Steve will burn down his own Christmas tree with those fireworks? I assure you, Deck the Halls won't surprise you at any point during its running time.
Kudos to Broderick for giving it his all as he gamely plays along, but really, he should have known better when he got a glipse of the script. You can smell the camel dung coming from a mile away.
DVD extras include some making-of featurettes. (Yes, they really did light up a house like that.)
Run time: 93 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 22nd November 2006
Box Office USA: $35.1M
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Production compaines: 20th Century Fox, Regency Enterprises
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 6%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 77
IMDB: 4.8 / 10
Director: John Whitesell
Producer: Michael Costigan
Screenwriter: Matt Corman, Chris Ord, Don Rhymer
Starring: Danny DeVito as Buddy Hall, Matthew Broderick as Steve Finch, Kristin Davis as Kelly Finch, Kristin Chenoweth as Tia Hall, Fred Armisen as Gustave, Dylan Blue as Carter Finch, Kelly Aldridge as Ashley Hall, Alia Shawkat as Madison Finch, Sean O'Bryan as Mayor Young, Sabrina Aldridge as Emily Hall, Gary Chalk as Sheriff Dave, Zak Santiago as Fireworks Guy, David Lewis as Ted, Ryan Devlin as Bob Murray, Gillian Vigman as Gerta, Jackie Burroughs as Mrs. Ryor, Nicola Peltz as Mackenzie, Daniel Bacon as Ed, Su-chin Pak as Herself, Jorge Garcia as Wallace