Deck the Halls

2008-11-30 14:58
 
And, for many years now, he's carried on a series of heartfelt but hokey Yuletide traditions that his family - wife Kelly (Kristin Davis), daughter Madison (Alia Shawkat), and son Carter (Dylan Blue) - at this point, can barely tolerate. Despite his family's exhausted protests, super-organized Steve has the December calendar chock full with everything from shooting the Finch's annual Christmas card photo, to their ritual tree harvesting and neighborhood caroling night. There's also scheduled time for shopping, "personal reflection," and the town's yearly Winterfest carnival, which Steve joyously oversees.

But Steve's Christmas bliss is suddenly destroyed when slippery car salesman Buddy Hall (Danny DeVito) moves in next door and Steve finds himself going toe-to-toe with his new neighbor. Buddy quickly begins to undermine Steve's dominance as the local "King of Christmas" when he sets out to festoon his new house with enough glowing holiday lights so it will be visible from outer space. We're talking a lot of lights, here!

But why stop at lights? Motivated by the celebrity he's achieving with his dazzling, megawatt decorations, Buddy adds a live manger scene complete with donkeys, cows, sheep, and an imported camel, while continuing to wreak havoc on an infuriated Steve in a host of creatively twisted ways. Though Steve is in meltdown mode over Buddy's holiday shenanigans (never mind that Buddy's tapping into the Finches' electricity to power his décor!), wife Kelly has bonded with Buddy's brassy better-half Tia (Kristin Chenoweth), while Madison has buddied up to the Halls' sexy, dim-bulb twin daughters Ashley and Emily (Sabrina & Kelly Aldridge), who light up the life of younger Carter as well. Kelly and Tia and the kids become increasingly impatient, though, with Steve and Buddy's escalating rivalry and eventually threaten to pull the plug on the guys' entire Christmas season.

Can Steve and Buddy declare a ceasefire before the holidays are ruined altogether, or will they continue their one-upsmanship until personal victory is achieved? In Deck the Halls, 'tis the season where just about anything is possible.
For Cloverdale, Massachusetts optometrist Steve Finch (Matthew Broderick), no time of the year can compare to the glory of the Christmas season.

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