“I pray every day for the strength to not run them over with the truck…”
Because Christmas films are pretty much expected to be awful, it gives respected actors a free pass at some easy money without having to worry about the results. Deck the Halls is the kind of movie born from this approach and co-stars Danny De Vito and Matthew Broderick look faintly embarrassed throughout.
Let’s not waste too much time on plot. Matthew Broderick is Mr Christmas in his small town. Danny De Vito moves in, puts loads of lights and decorations up on his house. The two feud. Hilarity ensues. Done.
This is basically a rehash of Jingle All the Way but a little meaner and a little less fun. Also, despite only being just over a decade old, this film has aged really badly. One scene in which De Vito and Broderick slobber over a trio of teenage girls only to find out that they are their respective daughters is particularly uncomfortable. It is mentioned earlier that De Vito’s on-screen twin daughters are only 15. Cue lots of ‘jokes’ about how slutty they are. Weird.
The supporting cast is eclectic enough to make matters a little more interesting. Charlotte from Sex & the City wanders in and out of shot while constantly wearing pyjamas for some reason. Elsewhere, Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat also appears and there is a cameo from Hurley of Lost fame, but all this really does is add to the overall ludicrous tone of the movie.
All that being said, in researching this film I did come across possibly my favourite ever bit of movie trivia. According to actress Gillian Vigman, Matthew Broderick could be found on set shaking his head in disbelief, repeatedly stating “I’ve hit rock bottom.”