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Movie Review: Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls
Directed by John Whitesell
Written by Matt Corman, Chris Ord, and Don Rhymer

This sucks, and that’s all you really need to know about it.  The story:

Steve Finch (Matthew Broderick) is the “Christmas Guy” in a small town in Massachusetts, and he goes overboard during the season with decorations and all that Christmas entails.  He’s married to the lovely Kelly (Kristin Davis), and they have two kids you want to drown immediately after meeting them (Dylan Blue, and surprisingly, Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat).  Then neighbor Buddy Hall (Danny DeVito) comes in, complete with sexy wife Tia (Kristin Chenowith) and jailbait twins Ashley and Emily (Sabrina and Kelly Aldridge).  Buddy is an awesome but bored car salesman, and he wants to do something more with his life. 

It means being the unofficial new “Christmas Guy” and trying to make his house visible from space, much to the chagrin of Finch, and so the bad Christmas juju kicks in as the neighbors try to top or hurt each other.  That’s so freaking funny.  Why hasn’t anyone tried this before?

Well, as you can tell, many productions have tried this before, and it almost always sucks.  What’s worse, is that it many times sucks money out of family wallets during the season, many times when there aren’t many true family offerings around.  But this year and this season is filled with them, and Deck the Halls has a lot of gags that aren’t exactly family friendly.  When Finch watches sexy girls in Santa costumes dance, backs facing him and his rival Hall, he yells out, “Who’s your daddy?” and it turns out, it’s his daughter in the middle of the stage, flanked by Hall’s twins.  Yeah, this might go over the heads of the young ‘uns, but their hair might be blown back a bit.

But even forgetting it’s decidedly un-family friendly vibe at times, it’s just not funny, or entertaining, or in any way new.  I know actors, when they get to a certain age and they have kids of their own, want to make a family movie so they can all watch it together, but why does it have to be the first script that slides across the desk?  Surely there are wittier and less obnoxious attempts floating around.

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