FILM ONLY REVIEW
Steve Finch is a regular man who loves the holiday season, he has everything running to a schedule much to his families dislike and he is even in charge of the town decorations and festive activities. His world is about to be turned upside down when a new neighbour moves in.
Buddy is a salesman and has a crazy wife and two daughters. He is happy with life but usually ends up being loud and over the top. When his daughters discover that their house s the only one in the street which cannot be seen from space Buddy decides that he is going to light it up so it can be seen from space.
A row between Buddy and Steve starts as Steve thinks Buddy’s decorations are horrible and very over the top but Buddy loves them and so to do the rest of his family and the surrounding neighbours. Buddy is having to go to extreme measures to get his house seen from space but can he achieve this goal when Steve is trying to put a stop to it and what will become of the families of these two men at war?
I had no real idea what this film was about before watching but as it looked very festive I decided to give it a go. The story was good and very fun, a little daft at times but it was very enjoyable and easy to watch. I found the whole concept behind the story was good but it did at times remind me of other films and did not seem very original. The acting was good and we did have a lot of laughs throughout the film.
The role of Buddy was played by Danny DeVito and he was great. He played a loud and over the top man who was actually quite lovable. He clearly cared for his family and wanted to do right by them but at times when his mind was set on something they did fall to the wayside. He was strong and hard and loved his fighting with neighbour Steve. There were a few times in the film when he was daft and gave us some daft faces which to me were not needed and it seemed as if they were trying slightly too hard on the comedy front but he did have good comedy timing for the other gags and he came across perfect with the spoken one liners. He had a great chemistry with neighbour Steve. They bounced off each other with ease and the arguments were fun to watch. Steve was played by Matthew Broderick and he was the complete opposite of Buddy. He was a respected man in the town and loved being in charge, he ran things to a schedule and hated having to change his plans. He was loving and in control of his family and at times I really wanted to smack him and tell him to give the family a break. He was easy to get to know and understand and the background we got on his character made me understand why he was like he was.
We had a lot of good support roles in the film. Personally I found the two suffering wives to be great roles, they were played by Kristen Davies and Kristen Chenoweth. They handled the husband very well and bought some much understand comedy to the film. Other good role included appearances from Kelly and Sabrina Aldridge, Dylan Blue and Jorge Garcia.
The film is funny and there are a lot of good laughs throughout. The majority of them are spoken gags but we do have the odd visual one. The actors bounced off each other and the comedy timing was great. I found there were some parts of the film which seemed to take the comedy over the top and came across more as daft but I can forgive these are there were only a few moments like this. De Vito was by far the funniest role in the film.
The film was set in America in the present day so no real effort was needed for the sets or costumes. We did have some crazy Christmas jumpers though and they were actually good to look at. The props were all good and in keeping with the film. I did find that some of the special effects were poor, we had a good scene involving a sledge and Steve but the backdrops were so clearly added it did spoil the funny side of this for me. The remainder of the effects were better and seemed to fit easier into the film. The music was good and it most definitely had a Christmas feel to it, we had a lot of the old familiar Christmas songs and a few carols included and it did fit very well into the film and story and help to give it more of the festive feel.
This is a film only review so there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 93 minutes and there is actually no rate on the film which I can see. I would say this film would be fun and enjoyable for people over the age of 10 years. The DVD can be bought for under £5 now which I feel to be a good fair price.
I am happy to give this film 4 stars. It had a good story and great acting and it was very funny. I feel this is a film which is best watched around the festive period when you are in need of a good laugh.