There are two reasons to see "Deck the Halls," and those two reasons would not be the stars Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick. This 2006 Christmas comedy was apparently inspired by "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," or the episodes of "Home Improvement" where Tim tries to outdo the neighbor's Christmas display, or any other movie or television show that is based on the oxymoronic notion of cut-throat decorating at Christmas time, none of which is enough to warrant seeing this film either, especially if you can get your hands on one of those others instead. But still, there are a couple of reasons to check this movie out nonetheless.
Steve Finch (Broderick) is not only the town's eye doctor, he is also Mr. Christmas. However, Buddy Hall (DeVito) has moved in across the street and when he learns that his house cannot be seen from space by an online site that is mapping the Earth, he decides the solution is to deck his house with every Christmas tree light he can get his hands on. Broderick and DeVito can do these roles in their sleep, or at least in low gear, and the script never gives them any reason to rev up their performances. As their respective wives, Kirstin Davis and Kristen Chenoweth, also have little to do until Chenoweth finally gets to sing near the end and serve as a reminder that you just cannot make a living being a singing star on Broadway these days. However, I keep thinking they cast her because she is approximately DeVito's size, setting up the visual humor of their tall blond twin daughters, and not because she is a talented Broadway musicale actress. For that matter, Davis is just spinning her wheels waiting for the "Sex in the City" movie to give her something decent to do.
This is not a particularly funny movie, also hindered by the fact that neither of the main characters are the types you want to identify with, especially in from of family members. However, there are two things this movie--whose winter night scenes were primarily shot during the day in summer (see the special features for the explanation)--got right. The first is that the light display is absolutely awesome. I have seen some impressive things on YouTube and the nightly news showing us what some people have come up with for Christmas in years past, but I do not remember anything coming close to the spectacular light show they came up with for this movie. The least you can do is put this on while you are cooking Christmas dinner and actually watch the part when Buddy puts on the light show for the neighbors. The second thing they get right is when Steve and Buddy have pretty much ruined the holiday for their families and they have to do something to get back in good with their wives. At this point I believe that what is required is a grand gesture, and despite their problems previous to that point in the movie, the boys do come up with something that fits the bill. These two things are not quite enough to justify rounding up, since I cannot really name anything else to recommend seeing this film let along actually buying it to own for Christmases yet to come, but that house alone is enough to rent it or catch it on television sometime.