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Deck the Halls

Lands like a lump of coal
By TOM MEEK  |  November 21, 2006
1.5 1.5 Stars

Somewhere in Western Mass, an anal-retentive optometrist prides himself on being Mr. Christmas. At least, that’s the gimmick in this largely unfunny Yuletide romp where Dr. Finch (Matthew Broderick) oversees a fictitious hamlet’s annual holiday festival and executes family tradition to a T. That is, until Buddy Hall (Danny DeVito) moves in next door with a buxom bombshell of a wife (Kristin Chenoweth) and scantily clad daughters (Kelly and Sabrina Aldridge). It’s gauche versus Yankee tradition, with stoic civility going out the window when Buddy lights up his house bright enough to be seen from (almost) outer space and blares music 24/7. What ensues is an insipid dick-waving contest. Neither patriarch endears, and worse, they’re not even repugnant, just pathetic. Director John Whitesell seems to have lost whatever comic timing he picked up on Big Momma’s House 2. The gags land like lumps of coal, but at least the unnatural mounds of fluffy white snow remain unsullied in the dreck.

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