Optometrist Steve Finch loves those Christmas traditions he has set up with his family and his town. As such, he has a schedule of activities for his family starting on December 1st, and is the official unofficial consultant for anything Christmas related in his town of Cloverdale, Massachusetts. During the Christmas season, the Halls move in to the house across the street from the Finch's. The Halls in general are different in outlook and temperament than the Finches. Unlike Steve, Buddy Hall scams his way through life and never follows through with anything he starts. While Kelly Finch and Tia Hall - Steve's wife and Buddy's wife respectively - and their children begin friendships based largely on those differences, Steve and Buddy butt heads based on those differences. It begins with Buddy striving to have his house seen from outer space by decorating it as lavishly and brightly as possible. One of the results of Buddy's task his that he becomes the new go to guy for anything ... Written by
...unless you're maybe 8 years old, in which case the sight gags might keep you amused. For a while. Matthew Broderick should be ashamed for getting himself mixed up in a mess like this. He's good at playing straight men, but his deadpan delivery of this lousy script will have you checking your watch frequently. It's a particular waste of his comedy talent, which is well-documented. Danny DeVito once again demonstrates that his career peaked about 10 years ago as he mopes his way through the story. Just when you think you've got his character figured out, he does something that takes you back to square one. Is he a nice guy? A scumbag? A criminal? It could be any of those things, or none. God knows the ending doesn't give you any ultimate idea. I don't really know, and I don't really care. Avoid this film unless you have nothing better to do at the mall except wait for a swollen molar to subside. It's about the only thing that seems less appealing than sitting through this turkey.
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