This film comes nowhere close to building anything other than some mild holiday charm.
“DECK THE HALLS” was a Christmas comedy that had missed my radar. I had never heard of it, and when looking for a holiday film to enjoy for an evening, the sight of DeVito and Broderick showed some promise. These two actors as battling neighbors had potential for some simple odd-couple humor, mixed with some holiday elements, so when I sat down I was not expecting greatness, but something to entertain.
The first-act was decent, the rapport between Broderick and DeVito’s character was not laugh-out-loud funny, but it did provide some chuckles. The angle this script took of Devito’s character wanting to light his house up with Christmas decorations to the point of his home being seen from space, was dumb but it could have worked for some laughs.
The problem with this film was it tried to use it as a rather odd, and honestly dumb mission of redemption for the character, and it did not work for me. Yes the two neighbors went back and forth, it was a focal point in the script, but it was more the story of a character trying to find his mark on life and it was just dumb and soon only hindered the pace and enjoyment of the movie overall.
Both DeVito and Broderick have their moments but their chemistry was lacking and after awhile their moping, sullen personas were more fatiguing as the laughs slowly dwindle. There were a handful of chuckles and some enjoyable scenes here and there, but for the most part it was all the usual sight-gags, physical humor and scenarios we have all seen before done better. I was just expecting much more out of this film, but after watching, it reminded me of why I probably hadn’t heard of this film before.
It had its moments, but they were too few and far between. I think Broderick and DeVito could have brought much more to this film but after awhile it almost felt like neither were really trying. This film should have focused on holiday humor and their battling dynamic and left the attempt at a serious plot behind. The family drama and life crisis tale this film follows was just hard to connect with and in the end make this holiday film with a lot of potential, just a tough hour and a half to sit though as the hilarious moments fade, and the cheese makes it presence known.
Time: 93 min
MPAA Rating: (For some crude and suggestive humor, and for language)