DECK THE HALLS (2006, USA) **
dist. Twentieth Century Fox; pr co. New Regency Productions (/ Corduroy Films / All Lit Up Productions; d. John Whitesell; w. Matt Corman, Chris Ord, Don Rhymer; exec pr. Jeremiah Samuels; pr. Michael Costigan, Arnon Milchan, John Whitesell; ph. Mark Irwin (DeLuxe. 35mm. Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Super 35 (3-perf) (source format). 1.85:1); m. George S. Clinton; m sup. Patrick Houlihan; ed. Paul Hirsch, James Start; pd. Bill Brzeski; ad. Dan Hermansen; set d. Tedd Kuchera; cos. Carol Ramsey; m/up. Lisa Love, Anji Bemben; sd. Jon Johnson (Dolby Digital | DTS); sfx. Chris Sturges; vfx. Thomas F. Ford IV, Matthew Gratzner, Bob Hurrie, Michael Joyce, Ray McIntyre Jr., David Sanger; st. Charles Croughwell, Danny Virtue; rel. 22 November 2006 (USA), 1 December 2006 (UK); cert: PG; r/t. 93m.
cast: Danny DeVito (Buddy Hall), Matthew Broderick (Steve Finch), Kristin Davis (Kelly Finch), Kristin Chenoweth (Tia Hall), Alia Shawkat (Madison Finch), Dylan Blue (Carter Finch), Kelly Aldridge (Ashley Hall), Sabrina Aldridge (Emily Hall), Jorge Garcia (Wallace), Fred Armisen (Gustave), Gillian Vigman (Gerta), Ryan Devlin (Bob Murray), Sean O’Bryan (Mayor Young), SuChin Pak (Self), Jackie Burroughs (Mrs. Ryor), Garry Chalk (Sheriff Dave), Nicola Peltz (Mackenzie), Zak Santiago (Fireworks Guy), David Lewis (Ted), Daniel Bacon (Ed).
DeVito and Broderick have it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space. This is an often painfully unfunny and mean-spirited movie that falls flat with most of its intended gags. A threadbare script, unsubtle direction and unlikeable character performances from both male leads drag this seasonal film down. Occasional glimpses of a better movie do emerge from time to time, notably in Chenoweth’s nicely judged performance as DeVito’s wife, but these moments are dwarfed by the unsubtle and heavily manufactured tit-for-tat comedy that can look no further than trying to generate big laughs through increasingly exaggerated scenarios.