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
A future holiday classic? Well, maybe not. but quite a pleasant film, actually
Steve Finch (Matthew Broderick) is smallish Cloverdale, Massachusetts's town optometrist. He also is determined to create great holiday memories at Christmastime for, as he explains, he was an army brat and moved too often to experience a traditional Xmas. Therefore, Steve has his family on a schedule that includes hanging wreaths and singing carols. He is also a big supporter for the town's winterfest celebrations. Enter Buddy Hall (Danny Devito). He and his wife have just purchased the house next door and Buddy has got the holiday spirit, too, in a big way. He wants enough lights on his house to assure it can be spotted from outer space! Buddy and Steve get off on the wrong foot from the start, with Buddy's light-and-music show giving Steve insomnia and stress. Can these two get into the true holiday spirit of forgiveness and harmony? This is a nice addition to the holiday movie repertoire. Broderick and Devito are fine as the quarreling neighbors, with Devito turning down his manic comedy just a bit, with welcome results. The rest of the cast is well chosen, too. The look of the film is arresting and the costumes and scenery quite appealing. Near the end of the flick, there is a sweet moment when the lights go out and the lovely song, O Holy Night, is resonating. What a great way to remind everyone for the true reason for the holiday, amid the humorous chaos of the rest of the picture. If you want to see something new this holiday or in the future, this one will do nicely for a family gathering. It has some laughs and messages that will get everyone in the mood for the annual holiday experiences.
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