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"DECK THE HALLS"
(2006) (Matthew Broderick, Danny DeVito) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild *Heavy Minor *None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Minor None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None *Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: Two neighbors compete against each other for the unofficial role of being their small town's "Christmas Guy."
PLOT:
In the small town of Cloverdale, Massachusetts, optometrist Steve Finch (MATTHEW BRODERICK) is known as The Christmas Guy. That doesn't always sit well with his wife, Kelly (KRISTIN DAVIS), friendless teen daughter Madison (ALIA SHAWKAT), or 10-year-old son Carter (DYLAN BLUE) who's going through his own version of a midlife crisis. They think Steve is obsessed with the holiday, scheduling every last minute of December, but he thinks he's just very organized.

His world is turned upside down when car salesman Buddy Hall (DANNY DeVITO), his buxom wife Tia (KRISTIN CHENOWETH), and their scantly clad twin daughters Ashley (SABRINA ALDRIDGE) and Emily (KELLY ALDRIDGE) move in across the street. Buddy seems like a nice enough guy, but since he's always quit most everything in his life, he now wants to do something big, important, and/or monumental.

He decides on decorating his house to the hilt, to the degree of hoping it will be visible from space. Naturally, that draws a lot of holiday attention to him, a development that doesn't sit well with Steven who feels his unofficial role is being usurped. While everyone thinks he's just being a grinch, Steve then sets out to regain his title, resulting in an escalating war of holiday shenanigans between the two men.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The Christmas comedy angle might draw some, while anyone who's a diehard fan of someone in the cast might be interested in it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some crude and suggestive humor, and for language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MATTHEW BRODERICK plays the town's optometrist who becomes progressively upset that Buddy has taken over his status as the Christmas guy. He then sets out -- using various tactics -- to thwart Buddy's attempts to have his decorated house seen from space. He briefly uses profanity.
  • DANNY DeVITO plays his new neighbor, a car salesman who wants to do something notable in his life. Thus, he obsessively sets out to decorate his house to such a degree that it will be seen from space, unaware that he's stepping on Steve's toes in the process. However, once Steve fires the first symbolic shot, Buddy retaliates in his own way.
  • KRISTIN DAVIS plays Steve's wife, a cookbook editor who progressively grows tired of his and Buddy's antics.
  • KRISTIN CHENOWETH plays Buddy's buxom wife who's always displaying lots of cleavage and similarly tires of the "battle."
  • ALIA SHAWKAT plays Steve and Kelly's teenage daughter who finally comes out of her shell when she meets Buddy's teenage daughters (and even performs in a somewhat risqué public Christmas performance with them).
  • DYLAN BLUE plays her 10-year-old brother who's going through his own version of a midlife crisis but finds things looking up when Ashley and Emily move in across the street.
  • SABRINA ALDRIDGE and KELLY ALDRIDGE play Buddy and Tia's teenage daughters who are often scantly clad and serve to be something of a bad influence on Madison.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this comedy that's rated PG. A few expletives and colorful phrases are present, as is some sexually related dialogue (including a reference to an unseen erection in a neighbor's pants).

    Other sexually related material (including a running gag about the town sheriff being a cross dresser, and two men ending up nude together in the same sleeping bag, although not for sexual purposes) is present. Meanwhile, a wife/mother shows a great deal of cleavage in low-cut outfits (and we see a painting of her where she's fully nude lying done, but nothing explicit is seen), some teens are seen in revealing attire, and they form a racy Christmas act in public.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, and some crude humor is present, as is some comedy-based, mostly slapstick-style material. Some behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate, while brief drinking occurs (as does one joking drug reference) and wives and their kids move out and away from their husbands due to their combative, comedy-based behavior (but all are happily together at the end).

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • When asking who moves in the middle of the night (about Buddy doing just that), Steve half-jokes about a meth lab.
  • Tia and Kelly have wine.
  • A miscellaneous guy has a beer and then tries to help (drunkenly) guide Steve's car out of a tight space (Steve is doing the driving and is sober).
  • Tia and Kelly decorate a motel Christmas tree with mini liquor bottles as ornaments.
  • We see a guy with a neon sign around his neck that's the word "beer."
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Buddy jokes about wetting himself after being tazered in the past.
  • Buddy accidentally spills a gas can, prompting Kelly to ask if anyone smells gas. Steve, who's chopping down a tree and doesn't know about the gasoline, yet, replies, "Cut me some slack, I'm swinging pretty hard" (suggesting he thinks she said he farted).
  • Steve becomes upset with Buddy, saying he (Steve) is the "Christmas guy" in their town. Suggesting he's the new person in that role, Buddy tells Steve he can take "toe jam" day.
  • To keep Buddy from seeing him, Steve jumps into the former's Christmas display manager and lands in animal excrement (that's then on the front of his clothing). A camel there then blows yellow phlegm (or something similar) all over Steve's face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Steve and Buddy develop bad attitudes toward each other that get worse (in a comedy fashion) as the story progresses.
  • Some viewers might not like it when Buddy jokes about dropping the fridge on a cat while moving in, adding that most of it (the cat) got away (the referenced incident is not seen).
  • Buddy's teenage twins say they can get Madison a fake I.D.
  • Buddy's coworkers send him out on a bet to try to sell a car to an old man, not telling him he's the owner of the dealership (but Buddy succeeds).
  • We see that Buddy has duct-taped fake antlers to some horses to make them look like reindeer.
  • Buddy secretly plugs into Steve's power (burying the electric line under the snow) to help light up his Christmas display.
  • Mad at Buddy, Steve tells some passersby that the Christmas decorations in the back of Buddy's truck are free.
  • Steve becomes upset with Buddy, saying he (Steve) is the "Christmas guy" in their town. Suggesting he's the new person in that role, Buddy tells Steve he can take "toe jam" day.
  • Steve uses some snow to short out Buddy's electrical system.
  • Steve learns that the tree Buddy left in his house was cut down from the town square, and the vehicle he gave him as a present will send him to jail if he doesn't pay for it immediately (he forged Steve's signature to "buy" it).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Steve ends up in a horse-drawn sleigh, careening through the town out of control, with the sleigh slamming into a car. It then ends up on a frozen pond or lake, with the ice breaking and the sleigh and Steve instantly sinking below the surface (all played for comedy action).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None, but tt seems like Steve is meeting a man to buy a gun, but he's really purchasing powerful fireworks that he plans to use to disrupt Buddy's sleep (as Buddy's display has done to Steve).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're spazzing out on me," "They're enormous tools," "Loser," "Pretty damn bright," "I can be a real jerk sometimes," "Dorks," "What the hell are you doing over there?" "I'm gonna kick your ass," "Take it easy Jackie Chan," "You're beginning to be a knot in my panties," "You're still a screw-up" and "You little fart."
  • Some of the competitive behavior between the men (such as shooting fireworks from one roof to another, heavily decorating one's home, etc.) may be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Buddy's teenage twins say they can get Madison a fake I.D.
  • We see that Buddy has duct-taped fake antlers to some horses to make them look like reindeer.
  • Buddy accidentally spills a gas can, with the gas then going around Steve's private Christmas tree lot. When Steve then goes to chop down one tree, the spark ignites the gasoline, resulting in his trees catching on fire (outside).
  • Carter climbs up a telephone pole to serve as his dad's lookout as Steve goes to sabotage Buddy's electrical system (and spots the neighbor girls through their window).
  • Steve uses some snow to short out Buddy's electrical system.
  • About seeing Steve in a skintight speed skating outfit, Buddy jokes that it looks like he's smuggling some Chicken McNuggetts in there.
  • We see some graffiti.
  • Various people illuminate the night with light from their cell phone screens.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There's a little bit of playfully done, suspenseful music.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 ass, 1 crap, 1 damn, 1 hell, 5 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Jesus," "Oh God" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A senior citizen says she looks "hot" in some glasses Steve picked out for her at his office.
  • A man says that sheriff Dave is a cross-dresser. Later, Steve sees Dave scratching what appears to be a bra beneath his shirt (he says it's a brace), and then sees the top of a colorful thong as the man squats down facing away from the camera (with his pants partially riding down). Even later, Dave tells Steve, "You're beginning to be a knot in my panties."
  • Steve partially gets on top of Kelly in bed and kisses her (both in bedclothes), but the sound of Buddy moving in at night across the street interrupts them.
  • Tia tells Buddy that she measured the bedroom and they're going to need a shorter pole (presumably meaning of the stripper variety). She then looks down at Steve's crotch (on his front porch, with his robe open, but we don't see what she does) and jokes that they have a "visitor." When he whips his robe shut, she playfully says not to put the little guy away.
  • Needing some help to reach something, Tia has Kelly give her a boost by pushing her up by her clothed butt.
  • Tia shows a lot of cleavage in various outfits in various scenes.
  • 10-year-old Carter stares at a painting of Tia lying down nude, (but the view, while indicating she's fully nude, only shows some cleavage).
  • Tia says she met Buddy when he was peeping in through the window at her.
  • Buddy's teenage twins wear short skirts and midriff-revealing tops.
  • Having been rescued from a frozen pond or lake (the rescue is not seen), Steve awakens to find himself nude in a sleeping bag with Buddy, who's also nude, rubbing him (with his hands) to try to warm him up. This occurs in a car and all we see is Buddy's bare back, with nothing sexual occurring, although this freaks out Steve.
  • Kelly shows a little cleavage.
  • When Buddy says he's going to take down his Christmas lights, Tia tells him that if he does, he's seen the last of her "holding offers" (or something like that), adding, "And you know what I mean."
  • Carter climbs up a telephone pole to serve as his dad's lookout, but is distracted by the silhouetted sight of Buddy's teenage twins having a pillow fight (that makes him say it's the best Christmas ever).
  • Steve is concerned when his daughter goes out with some sailors, but we don't know if anything happens with them.
  • Steve and Buddy find common ground in lusting over some shapely young women -- the "Santa Babies" -- in Santa jackets and fishnet stockings doing a town square performance. The three young women do some sexy dancing and even bend over in those outfits so that their leotard-covered butts face the crowd (the camera focuses close on those butts). Steve then starts shouting out "Who's your daddy?" until he realizes the girls are his daughter and Buddy's twins. We next see both men washing out their eyes with holy water in a church.
  • About seeing Steve in a skintight speed skating outfit, Buddy jokes that it looks like he's smuggling some Chicken McNuggetts in there.
  • Kelly shows a little cleavage while bent over.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The following is played lightly rather than realistically, and the families are reunited at the end of the film.
  • We hear that Madison has no friends and Carter is having a midlife crisis as a 10-year-old (Steve is slightly concerned about that).
  • Buddy sells his wife's family heirloom vase to fund his ever-expanding Christmas decor. That causes some marital strife between them, resulting in her moving out with their twins.
  • We see Kelly and the kids moving out from Steve (over his behavior toward Buddy).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • People who compete against their neighbors.
  • How such films are all about finding the Christmas spirit.
  • A man says that sheriff Dave is a cross-dresser. Later, Steve sees Dave scratching what appears to be a bra beneath his shirt (he says it's a brace), and then sees the top of a colorful thong as the man squats down facing away from the camera (with his pants partially riding down). Even later, Dave tells Steve, "You're beginning to be a knot in my panties."
  • Steve says he isn't intense around Christmas, he's just extremely organized.
  • We hear that Madison has no friends and Carter is having a midlife crisis as a 10-year-old.
  • Buddy wanting to do something big, important, and monumental in his life.
  • What lights can or can't be seen from space.
  • The degree of sexual material in the film.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A jogger falls over a bush to the sidewalk (but is okay).
  • Steve ends up in a horse-drawn sleigh, careening through the town out of control, with the sleigh slamming into a car. It then ends up on a frozen pond or lake, with the ice breaking and the sleigh and Steve instantly sinking below the surface (all played for comedy action).
  • While trying to run an electric line from Steve's house over to his, Buddy ends up having his feet go out from beneath him and he falls hard to the snow when the line goes taut (slapstick style).
  • Buddy accidentally spills a gas can, with the gas then going around Steve's private Christmas tree lot. When Steve then goes to chop down one tree, the spark ignites the gasoline, resulting in his trees catching on fire (outside).
  • A miscellaneous guy has a beer and then tries to help guide Steve in driving car out of a tight space (where his car is at a 90 degree angle compared to the two parked cars - and Steve is sober). However, the drunken guy isn't paying attention, resulting in Steve's car catching the trailer hitch on another. That tears up and then punctures the side of Steve's car, and we then see Steve driving down the road without either front door.
  • Steve throws a snowball that accidentally hits an older woman in the face and knocks her to the ground.
  • The two men's wives whack their respective husbands on the backs of their heads (to make them see how foolish they're acting).
  • In a skating contest, a man propels his wife forward and she accidentally runs into Steve, knocking him down.
  • Steve shoots fireworks off his roof at Buddy's house late at night, hoping to disrupt his sleep and/or cause him to have a heart attack (neither happens). But a powerful one goes down Steve's chimney by accident and then ricochets around the house, eventually catching the Christmas tree on fire. We later see fire damage on one side of the house.



  • Reviewed November 16, 2006 / Posted November 22, 2006

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