‘Deck the Halls’ is a Christmas Comedy film about two neighbors who come into conflict over one of them having the goal to have so many Christmas lights on his house that it will be visible from space. A series of pranks and, hijinks ensue that escalates over time until the point both men lose everything; they then form an uneasy friendship.
Those 5 lines are the entire plot of this film. I don’t know if I have seen too many Christmas films at this point, or if this one is just incredibly generic, but I genuinely can’t tell this film apart from a slew of other Christmas films and, just comedy films in general, that have this same exact plot; but actually do something memorable with it.
The only memorable thing about this film is that never before in all my life have I ever hated the main character, that you are supposed to root for, more. Steve Finch, (Matthew Broderick), who’s name I never knew at any point during the film and, didn’t care to learn, is the most annoying, obsessive kill joy I have ever seen; it seems as though no one can have fun unless it suits him and, he can be involved. He involves himself in other peoples business religiously and, is thoroughly unlikable.
His warring rival is Buddy Hall, (Danny Devito), it is him that wants his house visible from space: because that would give his life meaning I guess. Buddy is a charismatic car salesman who can sell anyone on anything and, always gets what he wants. I would assume both men are supposed to be dicks at the start of the film, as this would allow them to grow into better people by the end, but the level of dickery is not equal. Yes, Devito’s Hall might have his nastier moments but, compared to the black hole of fun that is Broderick’s Steve Finch he is basically Santa Claus.
That was a major issue I had with the film, in many scenes where you’re are supposed to root for Finch and, hope he wins against Hall you don’t, Hall is so much easier to root for. Devito actually manages to make the audience smile a few times in this dumpster fire, unlike Broderick who has all the charm of a brick. If roles were reversed and, Devito’s Hall was the main protagonist we were all rooting for then the roles would be much better suited.
Overall this is a godawful Christmas film and, one that doesn’t age well either. Definitely keep away from this over the Christmas period, even the Internets sweetheart Danny Devito can’t save this. If it was a choice between catching a showing of this or, catching the plague I would probably pick the plague.
1/5 (Only Because Of For Devito)
Reviewed by Luke