Genre: Christmas, Comedy, Family.
Starring: Danny DeVito, Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth, Kristin Davis, Alia Shawkat, Jorge Garcia.
Year Of Release: 2006
Certificate: PG (UK)
Runtime: 93 Minutes
Director: John Whitesell
Synopsis: “Two neighbours have it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space.” IMDB
This mediocre festive film offers lots of cheese in respect of acting, plot and gags- enough to turn your milk sour but still be watchable to the point of how bad it is, but how good it is because of it. It’s typically predictable, setting up two warring middle-aged men who will use Christmas as a battle ground for many slapstick confrontations, fights and disasters and will then be won over by a loving community and even more loving family. Everything else is just very tepid.
Matthew Broderick seems to think he’s funnier than he really is, and many of his prat-falls and witty one-liners don’t ever take off and they all come over as very wooden.
DeVito however is quite amusing with his taunts and slippery ways of humiliating his enemy. A few amusing put-downs here and there make him watchable, but surrounded by two big boobs (and Kristin Chenoweth), it’s quite distracting when his wife in on-screen.
The action (if you can call it that) is slapstick and ranges from a thrilling-less ice-skate race, an out of contorl sleigh ride, and a checkbox of festive disasters waiting to happen which doesn’t set the bar, but it’s harmless enough for this time of year for 88mins.