Deck the Halls
December 16, 2020
(The Channel Awesome logo is shown, followed by the NC title sequence. Open on NC, as usual, but this time, he is looking somewhat annoyed as he massages the temples of his cheek.)
NC: (monotone voice) Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (sighs) Around this time of year, you usually see a lot of...
(Cut to a shot of an online article reading: "The Best Christmas Movies of All Time".)
NC (vo): ...lists for the best Christmas specials.
(Cut to a shot of another online article, this one reading: "The 15 Worst Christmas Movies You Wish You Could Forget".)
NC (vo): And naturally, lists for the worst Christmas specials. A lot of them we've covered on the show. You name it.
(A montage of shots of movies that NC has looked at in the past is shown...)
(Now cut to shots of one Christmas movie that always seems to appear on every "bad Christmas movies" list...)
NC (vo): But one film that always pops up and I've avoided reviewing, because I just didn't wanna, is Deck the Halls.
NC: (nods) It's worth every spot.
(The title for Deck the Halls is shown, followed by footage of the film.)
NC (vo): Often referred to as Christmas with the Kranks 2, Deck the Halls follows the tradition of taking a Christmas song you liked fine and making you...
(A montage of shots of posters for other Christmas movies is shown, all named after Christmas songs: I'll Be Home For Christmas, Jingle All the Way, Noel, Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, Last Christmas.)
NC (vo): ...violently vomit every time you hear it because of the awful film it's tied to. Much like Christmas with the Kranks, the advertising suggests it's based on a clever idea: an upper-class suburbanite is seen as the biggest lover of Christmas, but when a neighbor moves in, wanting to go even bigger with his love of the holiday, a friendly feud turns into a comedic war where grown men act like children. Sounds like a decent satire of holiday commercialism. Best get the writer of (Poster of...) Big Momma's House to bring us this biting commentary. But oh, come on, a good director can still make it work, like the man who helmed (Posters of...) Big Momma's House 2 and 3! (sighs) I really want to get this over with, so let's jump right into it.
NC: (holds up hands grudgingly) For our sins, this is Deck the Halls. (nods)
(The movie opens with an optometrist, Dr. Steven Finch (played by Matthew Broderick), finishing up an operation on a patient)
NC (vo): The film opens with the winner of the Ben Affleck Award for being in...
(Posters for four Christmas movies are superimposed, two with Ben Affleck (Reindeer Games and Surviving Christmas) and two with Broderick (A Christmas Story Live and Deck the Halls).)
NC (vo): ...two of the worst Christmas specials ever made, Matthew Broderick, who's an eye doctor named Steve in a quiet upscale town.
(As Steve leaves his office and walks down the street, holding a poinsettia in a pot, he spots two people, a man and a woman, jogging past him.)
Male jogger: I'd love to chat and so, but you know how focused girls get in our runs.
(He turns back to continue his jog, but he notices that the female jogger trips and falls into a snow-covered bush.)
NC: (looking at cell phone) What's the time?
(As the scene is shown again, the time is shown: "1:58".)
NC (vo): A minute, 58.
NC: You couldn't even go two minutes without a pratfall! This movie's for babies!
Another passerby: Nobody keeps a secret better than me. I know for a fact, Sheriff Dave is a crossdresser. (Steve reacts in surprise.) I never told a soul.
NC (vo; softly): We like to thank Adam Sandler (The poster for Hubie Halloween, a Netflix movie starring Sandler, is superimposed.) for that Hubie Halloween joke even he thought was too pointless to use.
(Steve returns home to his wife, Kelly (Kristin Davis).)
Steve: Hi, honey, I'm home. (She feeds him some honey as part of a treat she's making, cutting him off.)
NC (vo): Yes, please shut him up. He couldn't even say, "Hi, honey, I'm home," without sounding like a robot who just discovered what this "feelings" thing is. (The poster for Inspector Gadget (where Broderick plays Gadget) is superimposed.) And even that he played bad!
Steve: (to Kelly) Look, I know it's only December 1, but I have all the planning to do for the Winterfest, you have a cookbook to write, the kids have school...
NC (vo; as Steve): I have exposition phone in, like the writers.
Steve: Look, my dad dragged me from one air force base to another. (They get into bed together.) Madison is a loner, Carter's a ten-year-old boy with a...
NC: Wow, they're still going! This is the equivalent of, like...
NC (vo): ...five "as you knows"! Give me something else to go off, a funny walk or something!
(Suddenly, Steve hears a racket going on outside)
Steve: (getting out of bed) What is that?
(It sounds like an engine roaring. Steve gets out of bed and walks – rather stiffly – over to the window to investigate.)
NC: (shaking head) He can't even do that convincingly. That was a Mario 3 walk.
(The scene of Steve walking is replayed, with music from Super Mario Bros. 3 playing in the background.)
NC (vo): It looks like a new neighbor is moving in next door, named Buddy, played by Danny DeVito.
Buddy: (to Steve) We just moved in across the street. You don't happen to have a cat, do you?
Buddy: Oh, good. I accidentally dropped a fridge on one. Thank God most of it got away.
NC: (shrugs) All right, that was a pretty good bit. Off you go. (The images of Chaplin and Catwoman leave.)
Chaplin (vo): I'm a wasted opportunity.
NC (vo): He [Buddy] introduces his wife Tia, played by Kristen Chenoweth, whose hair and coat is like that (A shot of the optical illusion of birds turning into fish is shown in the corner.) fish-bird drawing; you don't know where one begins and the other ends.
Tia: (to Steve, pinching Buddy's cheeks) Well, maybe if you knew him for five minutes... Why don't you come on over, and we should talk about maybe starting a carpool or something. (They turn to leave.)
Kelly: (waving as they leave) Welcome!
NC (vo; as Kelly): Good luck on the twenty cartoon characters you must be voicing!
(The Finches come over to Buddy and Tia's new house and spot Tia standing on some boxes, trying to put some dishes on a high shelf.)
Tia: Honey, could you come over here and give me a boost?
NC (vo): The family drops by to offer help moving in and...
NC: (looking visibly uncomfortable) Honestly, so much occurs here, it's better just to show it than explain it.
(The Finch kids enter, and one of them, Carter, spots, much to his surprise, a painting of a naked woman, who is lying on her stomach to avoid showing too much.)
Kelly: (to Tia) This is Madison. Say hello, Madison.
(Carter looks up, wide-eyed and wide-mouthed.)
NC: (blinking eyes in surprise) Uh?
Tia: I just got so tired of dating boys. (to Carter) No offense.
NC: (rolls eyes in surprise) Duh?!
(Suddenly, two attractive girls, Ashley and Emily, played by twins Kelly and Sabrina Aldrige, emerge, wearing shorts and fuzzy boots)
Tia: These are my babies.
NC: (more stunned than ever) Duh?!
(Tia stands between her two daughters.)
Kelly: Hi, girls.
(Carter stares, open-mouthed.)
NC (vo): It's like they're trying to get the son scared straight and the daughter scared gay! What the hell is happening in this scene?!
(As one of the girls walks over toward the Finches, she accidentally bumps into a table in the middle of the room, which has a vase on it. It almost falls over, but Kelly grabs it just in time, to Tia's relief. Kelly holds it out to Tia.)
Tia: (taking vase) Kelly, thank you. That has been in my family for years.
NC (vo; as Tia): That's why I put it on the small, shaky surface in the middle of the walkway. (normal) I'm glad they're offering so much, because I have no Sex in the City jokes!
Carter: Can I live here?
NC (vo): Meanwhile, Buddy starts his new job as a car salesman.
Coworker (Lochlyn Munro): Buddy! Hey, you, uh... Gee, you ready to sell some cars?
NC (vo; as director, offscreen): Cut, cut. Can you do that not like a College Humor character?
Buddy: I'm a born car salesman.
NC (vo): They try to play a joke by daring him to make a sale to a man, not knowing he's the owner of the dealership. I'll give the film credit: this is also a funny bit.
Dealership proprietor: I just bought one of my own cars. I paid sticker!
NC: (as the proprietor) And sold him two of my children. What does he even want them for?
NC (vo): We find out Buddy has gone through a couple of jobs, and despite being good at them, he loses interest and they end up moving, going deeper in debt. (Buddy's family's house is covered in fancy lights) Yeah, move over, Cratchits, this is the house of a struggling family!
Buddy: (to Tia) You know, one day I'd do something big. Something important. Something monumental.
NC: These don't feel like problems the characters are having as much as the celebrities playing the characters are having.
Tia: You are, you're going to pay off our monumental debt.
NC (vo): Buddy gets an idea when his daughters show him a site where you can see houses from space, but his doesn't show up.
(Buddy goes outside and looks up at the night sky.)
Buddy: See it from space... (runs back toward house) I'll light it up! Not gonna be invisible anymore!
NC (vo): And in case you're wondering, yes, this is the plot of the movie: Buddy wants his house to be seen from space. And it's not even done ironically, like, "Oh, what a crazy idea that is!" No, no, every time he talks about it, the sympathetic music plays like we're supposed to feel sorry he hasn't achieved his dream.
(A montage of clips is shown, starting with Buddy looking at the site showing houses from space.)
Buddy: Space, huh?
(Cut to Buddy at the dealership, talking to his boss.)
Buddy: It's the lights. I can't quit this, Bob. I gotta finish this.
(Cut to Buddy and Tia sitting on a bench together.)
Tia: I think we both know it means more to you than just the lights.
(Cut to Buddy at an interview about his ambition.)
Buddy: I really want my house to be seen from SPACE!
NC: (shaking head) Man, this is the perfect movie to watch in 2020!
NC (vo): Don't get me wrong: it is ludicrous to expect us to feel anything for a guy bankrupting his family for such a selfish goal, but watching it specifically now hammers in more how unrelatable this all is. Aw, you're making the Home Alone house look poor! God, I feel for you!
(Buddy is at a store, filling up his shopping cart with Christmas lights.)
Buddy: (to an employee) Can you order me more of these?
NC (vo; as employee): As a Photoshop fusion of Mike Nelson and Norm MacDonald, I'd love to.
(The employee takes Buddy to the back of the store, where he pulls a cloth off of something big.)
Employee: It's a horse-drawn sleigh!
NC (vo): This results in him buying a sleigh as well as horses. The wife looks okay with this after that talk of debt literally in the last scene she was in!
Steve: (seeing the horses with antlers duct-taped to their heads) These horses. I especially like the way you've duct-taped the antlers to their heads.
(Cut to a clip of Scrooged)
Frank Cross (Bill Murray): Have you tried staples?
(As we cut back to Deck the Halls, Buddy and Tia are trying to put Steve in a Santa outfit.)
Buddy: Take a picture in the sled.
Steve: No, no, no...
Buddy: Put the Santa suit on.
NC (vo): They want to take a picture on the sleigh, but of course, the horses get spooked and run off with Broderick inside. Now, how would you react in this situation?
NC: I know I'd be screaming, "Oh, my God! Holy shit! I'm out of control!" (holds up both hands) But that's too much emotion for Broderick. He just lets out a little "Ohh!"
Steve: (struggling to hold the reins of the bolting horses) Ohh! Ohh! Oh-oh!
Steve: Ooh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Whoa!
NC: "Ohh... boy!"
(The sleigh goes skidding across a frozen lake and Steve closes his eyes.)
Steve: Oh, boy!
NC: (as Broderick) I ad-libbed that one.
(The horses break free of the sleigh.)
Steve: Oh, my! Ohh!
NC (vo): Every look he gives is like he's blowing Santa's candy cane. I'm actually starting to wonder if this his literal "Oh!" face!
NC: (as Broderick) It's coming, it's coming... (looks up) Ohh! Yeah, that feels like box office disappointment.
(Steve having fallen into the lake, he is saved by Buddy, but his body is pale from hypothermia, so Buddy puts him in a sleeping bag, rubbing the blanket over him to warm him. Buddy, like Steve, is totally naked while doing so.)
NC (vo): This feels like a natural progression of the last scene.
Buddy: I had to get your body temperature up, so I stripped us both down and zipped us into this sleeping bag.
(Steve screams in horror.)
NC: Well, you guys missed a great opportunity for the poster.
(A made-up poster for the movie is shown, depicting Buddy and Steve in the sleeping bag together. Underneath the movie's title is the tagline: "WE DON'T KNOW EITHER".)
NC (vo): It'd be horrifying, but...the film isn't?
(Back home, Steve looks out the window at Buddy's house.)
Steve: This used to be such a nice quiet neighborhood.
(Suddenly, the lights in the house flicker.)
NC (vo): The lights only get bigger, and there's a suspicion Buddy is stealing their power to keep them lit. There's also a great impression of the director reacting to every Broderick line read.
Steve: Okay, yeah, maybe, I don't know, maybe. I don't know.
(Buddy plugs one of the lights into Steve's house's power.)
NC (vo): It turns out Buddy is stealing their power, but they don't know that when they invite him to cut down a Christmas tree.
Buddy: (calling out to Steve's family) The last ones to the car are losers!
(As Steve brings his chainsaw around, the blade accidentally knocks over a can of gas in the back of the truck.)
Steve: (to Buddy) It's not like it's a race. (turns to his son determinedly) Give me the axe, Carter; no way he beats us!
NC: I'm sorry, we're supposed to like someone in this movie, right?
Kelly: Does anyone smell gas?
Steve: (cutting down a Christmas tree with the axe) Probably me, but cut me some slack; I'm swinging pretty hard.
NC (vo): Matthew Broderick and farts, two comedic titans together at last.
(With one last chop of the tree, Steve also accidentally hits a metal pole at the base of the tree, which causes a spark which, thanks to the spilled gas, erupts into flame, burning this tree and all the other ones behind it.)
NC (vo): We'll give benefit of the doubt that Broderick can hit hard enough to spark a flame, which causes all the trees to burn down. On top of that, (gasps, then exaggeratedly) Buddy is being perceived more as the Christmas guy!
Steve: (to Buddy) We need to get something straight. Uh, around here, I'm the Christmas guy.
NC (vo; singing in a deep voice): I'm dreaming of a white privilege...
(A big man (played by Jorge Garcia) appears before Buddy and shakes his hand.)
Big man: Sir, meeting you is one of the great moments of my life.
Buddy: Thank you, Wallace, it's a pleasure to meet you.
NC: Um...the finale to Lost sucked. I don't care, there's so many worse scenes coming up!
Steve: (calling out) I'm the Christmas guy! I'M THE CHRISTMAS GUY!
NC (vo): You know, for an actor, he's terrible, but for an A.I. who just learned how to talk, he's still bad.
Steve: Boys, Madison is not allowed to date.
Kelly: Honey, don't worry. It's a one-time thing. They ship out next week.
Steve: (wide-eyed surprise) They're in the Navy?
NC: Why do I see Broderick's future as being cast in (holds up five fingers) five PureFlix sitcoms?
(As he says this, the poster for the PureFlix show Hitting the Breaks is shown in the corner, with Broderick's head replacing that of David A.R. White.)
NC (vo): Carolers gather for their annual singing, but Buddy's show across the street seems to distract them.
(Steve goes to the police to file a complaint. The sheriff, Dave (played by Garry Chalk), adjusts his shirt, revealing that he's wearing a pink bra underneath.)
NC (vo): Hey, that cross-dressing joke came back! I knew they didn't just use it because it was unfunny.
Dave: If you want to file a complaint, I'll fill out the paperwork.
Steve: I do, thank you.
(Dave turns and walks away a few feet, then bends over, revealing a pink Speedo underneath. He groans with relief. Steve looks away, disgusted, then walks out the door rather stiffly.)
NC (vo): Well, that walkout will age great, as we see later Buddy's wife comes out to...console him?
Buddy: I guess the light thing is pretty stupid.
Tia: Don't you touch one bulb on that house, and you've seen the last of my special holiday offers. It might turn out to be...something monumental.
NC (vo; as Tia): We have decoration boxes we can live in and two daughters we can eat. Spend your last penny on this; it's what Baby Jesus would want.
(Steve appears, dressed in spy gear, intending to sabotage the display.)
NC (vo): Broderick tries to sabotage the lights, but gets caught in the nativity scene, which of course has real animals. There'd better be poop where he lands!
(There is indeed, apparently, but the words "WE HAVE POOP!" censor over Steve's body where he lands. The sound of audience applause is heard.)
NC (vo; announcer voice): We have poop, ladies and gentlemen! Hopefully, it's from the animals, though if he bought those, he probably bought a human Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and I doubt he's letting them use the bathroom in his house!
(Steve finally finds the power box that powers the lights and throws a chunk of snow into it, shorting out the box and plunging the area into darkness. Kelly, having been aroused from her sleep, walks out and confronts her husband.)
Kelly: What the hell are you doing over there?!
NC (vo; as Steve): Calm down and let me explain! The sheriff's a crossdresser, so this was the only way!
(Suddenly, Buddy's room lights up again, having been connected to a backup generator.)
NC (vo): Buddy's backup generator relights them and his only question is about his son on the telephone pole, not why he's dressed in spy gear and covered in shit! Guess that's a common occurrence for him.
(Buddy goes over to the power box and pulls out a chunk of the ice from the snow that Steve had used to sabotage the display. Buddy holds up the ice suspiciously.)
Buddy: (hushed) Finch! (clenches his hand so hard that the ice in his hand breaks up)
NC: Get ready for The Cable Guy, (clenches fist) but with a different Batman villain!
(With that, we go to a commercial break. Upon return from the break, the movie resumes with Steve discovering a fully-decortated Christmas tree in his living room, courtesy of Buddy.)
NC (vo): Buddy seems to be treating the family nicer and giving them a new tree, as well as a new car.
(Steve and Kelly spot Buddy getting out of the car, which has a huge red ribbon on the top, as well as a license plate reading "OWN ME".)
Buddy: If you don't like the color, we could change it out.
NC (vo): They said the same thing about (A shot of Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch is superimposed) the Human Torch. (A second shot of the Human Torch from the Fantastic Four comics is added) His costume! What do you think I meant?
Woman: (to Steve) They say you have to pay for the car by lunchtime, or you're going to be arrested!
NC (vo): The car is apparently stolen from the lot! But that's okay, Buddy soon won't have a job there anyway, as he hasn't shown up in days because he dedicated himself to the lights.
Buddy: (to his boss, Bob, while tender music plays in the background) The Christmas lights. See, all my life, I've been looking for that one thing. I've always quit everything I started. I can't quit this, Bob.
NC: (shaking head) Movie, this is not a tender scene, this is a sick moment!
NC (vo): You need music like this...
(The scene replays, but with the tender music replaced with more ominous music, complete with ominous chanting, while NC edits the camera so that it zooms in close on Buddy's face.)
Buddy: The Christmas lights. See, all my life, I've been looking for that one thing. I can't quit this, Bob. I got to finish this.
NC: And that's what you play if there isn't a Killing Spree ending!
NC (vo): Broderick demands the car be paid for, but when he's turned down, he says he's calling his attorney.
Buddy: Is that the way you settle things like men? What's the matter, your mommy out of town?
Steve: Okay, okay! You wanna go?! Let's go outside right now! (holds up fists and makes circling motions with them) Come on!
NC: (as Steve, mimicking his circling movements) I'll...act-like-I'm-on-a-hamster-wheel you to death!
Buddy: There is an ice-skating race.
Steve: Yeah, great idea.
NC (vo): Yeah, the minute I looked at both of them, I immediately thought speed skaters. (sighs) They of course agree to it because this movie hates you, and they show up at the winter festival, trying to best each other even before the race.
(Buddy and Steve walk up a flight of stairs to a saucer slide.)
Buddy: Not too late to back out, Finch.
NC: Oh-ho! What hilarious outcome will this result in?
(Buddy and Steve start sliding down, but while Buddy slides down with ease, laughing as he does, Steve has more difficulty, struggling to slide down with his legs before finally making some headway. Their wives watch, nonplussed. Tia's eyes are closed to shut out the painful sight of the grown men making fools of themselves.)
Tia: Let's-Let's just... I can't. (They leave)
NC: Oh. Didn't even attempt one. (shakes head)
NC (vo): I think the actresses literally abandoned the scene, they were so embarrassed to be in it.
(On a stage, a group of women in sexy Santa outfits dance out onstage, with Buddy and Steve watching with delight.)
Buddy: (to Steve, pointing toward the women) Now that is something we could agree on.
NC: (as Buddy) The sheriff looks fantastic!
NC (vo): Perhaps our leads are too likeable. Let's have them drool over their daughters.
Steve: (calling out) Who's your daddy?
(One of the women in the sexy Santa suit turns to look at Steve, and much to his shock and horror, it turns to be his daughter, Madison! On top of that, Buddy's daughters, Emily and Ashley, are also wearing Santa outfits!)
Steve: Oh, God. I'm your daddy. I'm your daddy! (shuts his eyes tight and scratches his neck)
Buddy: (covering his eyes disgustedly) My eyes!
(In a church at the edge of the festival, Steve and Buddy are washing their eyes out with holy water after their encounter with their own daughters.)
Buddy: My eyes, my eyes!
Steve: We're going to Hell!
NC: Fun fact: my Blu-Ray of this film also came with holy water to wash my eyes out.
P.A. voice in church: The annual speed skating races will begin in five minutes.
NC (vo): Thank you, God! Why was that announced in a church?!
(At the race, Steve is wearing an orange jumpsuit, which Buddy notices.)
Buddy: Very nice. Very nice suit.
Tia, Emily and Ashley: (clapping) Dad, Dad, he's our man! If he can do it, nobody can! Bud!
NC: (as one of the girls, pointing) He looked at our asses, everybody! (clapping) Go Dad!
NC (vo): Their stunt doubles race each other, resulting in Buddy winning the race, meaning Broderick has to pay for the car.
Steve: (splayed out on the ground) Fine, but the last time I looked at the satellite pictures, (gets up) not a blip! How does it feel to be invisible?
(Buddy's family stares silently, shocked. Steve looks toward his family, who also stare at him in silent disapproval.)
(Kelly shakes her head.)
NC: You leave that man's dream of emotionally and financially fucking his family alone! (beat, then the sexy Santas are shown in the corner) Maybe literally, too.
NC (vo): Gee, I guess I feel so sorry for him.
(Back home, Buddy spots the vase on the table from earlier.)
NC (vo): Oh, look, he's selling his wife's priceless heirloom! Still feel bad, you piece of shit?!
(Having sold Tia's vase, Buddy starts cutting down branches on a tree outside to put up lights on it. Tia confronts him over it.)
Tia: This is a bad dream, right? I'm gonna wake up and this won't happening?
NC: (shrugs) Shortest review of this movie ever!
Tia: You pawned my grandmother's vase!
Buddy: I went for a loan, and if you don't have a job–
Tia: You lost your job?!
Buddy: That was a pretty awkward way for you to find that out.
NC: He literally played a...
(Cut to a shot of DeVito as the Penguin (with blood in his mouth) in Batman Returns)
NC (vo): ...blood-hungry monster who wanted to drown children in a pool of toxins...
NC: (points to camera) ...and he's still more likeable than this guy!
Buddy: How am I supposed to afford a camel on a car salesman's salary?
NC (vo): Not surprisingly, his wife and kids leave him, but what does that matter? His dream of being seen from space has almost come true!
(Buddy flips a switch and all the lights come on, putting on a light show to a Christmas song of some kind, complete with projections on the roof. Steve is stunned.)
NC (vo): He puts on the light show that, honestly, had it been in another movie, maybe would be funny, but all we can think about is how much I want these characters to walk across lights barefoot (A shot from Home Alone is superimposed: Marv stepping barefoot on some sharp/broken Christmas and clutching his foot in pain) like from Home Alone!
(Steve raises his eyebrows defiantly as he vows to get even with Buddy once and for all.)
NC (vo): We all know what Broderick's reaction would be!
NC: (as Steve) Oh... Oh!
(Steve meets a hoodlum (played by Zak Santiago) in an alleyway.)
NC (vo): He decides to call a professional to finish things off, which sadly is not as lethal as it sounds.
(The hoodlum opens up the trunk of his car, which is full of fireworks.)
NC (vo): Ooh! He want to Indiana!
(The hoodlum gestures toward a large, illegal, military-grade rocket, which is labeled "Atomic War Lord".)
Hoodlum: The Atomic War Lord.
(Steve buys the fireworks and later climbs up on the roof of his house and sets off the fireworks there, some of which take out the lights at Buddy's house, exploding in a shower of sparks as they do.)
NC (vo): He tries setting off the fireworks at Buddy's house...
(Unfortunately, the Atomic War Lord, when lit, goes down the chimney of his own house instead and blows up the Christmas tree in the living room.)
NC (vo): ...but of course it backfires, setting his living room ablaze. The cast finally calls it quits– I mean, the family calls it quits.
(Understandably upset at Steve's childish behavior, his family walks out on him. As she leaves, Kelly walks up to Steve.)
Kelly: What is your favorite Christmas memory?
Steve: Dad and I moved to Alabama, and on Christmas morning, we woke up and ate French fries and drank chocolate milk.
Kelly: Christmas traditions are born in those little... chocolate-milk-and-French-fry moments.
NC: And sometimes, (A shot of A Charlie Brown Christmas is shown in the corner) a cheap little cartoon can leave much more of an impact, and how much did this film cost? (The film's budget is shown: $51 million) CHRIST!
(Steve spots Buddy and storms up to him.)
(Suddenly, however, he trips on something hidden in the snow.)
Buddy: (looking at where Steve tripped) Oh, that's nothing. What is this?
(They walk up to where Steve tripped. They kick the snow out of the way, reveling an extension cord, which Steve picks up.)
NC (vo; sarcastically): Hey, look at that, a whole month of not noticing a cord running between the two houses. You dressed up and sabotaged him because you thought he was stealing power, but you never checked to see if he actually was?
(The earlier of the two wives nonplussed by their husbands' antics is replayed.)
Tia: Let's-Let's just... I can't.
(Cut back to the movie as Buddy angrily takes down the lights.)
NC (vo): Buddy, I guess, finally feels bad and takes down all the lights. But Broderick has an idea about how to use them outside their wives' hotel.
(Buddy and Steve have taken the lights and strung them up outside their families' hotel rooms where they are staying. They are disturbed by the noise outside to investigate, and become excited.)
Kelly: Mom! Look at this one!
Ashley: It's beautiful!
(The lights have been strung up, making something of a path leading away from the hotel, down the middle of the street and back to Buddy's house.)
NC (vo; sighs): No shit. You put this all up in one night with nobody hearing you and not a single traffic violation written. What was the construction sign like for that? (An image of a road closed barricade with a sign on it is superimposed; NC reads what is written on the sign...) "ROAD CLOSED DUE TO DIPSHITS' CRUMBLING MARRIAGES"? I wonder if twins share a bad line read?
Ashley: Mom! All these lights...
Emily: ...were Dad's lights! (looks around shiftily)
NC: (laughs) She had a look like...
NC (vo; as Emily): ..."I did that awful– 'Oh, we're going with that? Okay.'"
(Inside, Buddy shows off a wrapped package to Tia.)
Buddy: I got you this little...pre-Christmas gift.
(He lifts up the package, revealing Tia's vase. Tia stares.)
NC: (scoffs) Well, it's gonna take more than that...
NC (vo): ...to win her ba– (Instead, however, Tia runs up and hugs her husband.) All right...
Buddy: And we're not gonna lose our credit cards for the rest of our lives. (Tia kisses him.)
NC (vo; as Tia): Thank God. Can you imagine wasting all that money on useless therapy?
Kelly: (to Steve) It just seemed like your whole life had gotten so loud that the only thing you were gonna hear was an empty house.
NC: (shrugs) Okay, so at least it has a good message.
NC (vo): That what's most important about Christmas are the little things: dinner with family, close friends, and smaller moments no matter how rich or poor–
(Suddenly, a whole line of cars parks outside the house, along with a fire truck.)
NC (vo): Bullshit! We gotta see those lights from orbit!
(Everyone walks out.)
Steve: (to Buddy, about all the people outside their house) I told them Buddy was a little short on lights, and, uh, maybe they'd like to come and help out.
Man: (getting out of his car and opening trunk to take out some lights) MTV is sending someone down to do a story on Buddy's lights!
Steve: So why we better put them back up.
NC: The little things: French fries and chocolate milk, seeing your house from space – they're practically the same spelling!
(Sure enough, the event is covered on MTV, with its correspondent SuChin Pak giving the report.)
Pak: He's put up a Christmas light display that can hopefully be seen from space.
Little boy: (pointing to house) They're gonna do it! They're gonna turn on the lights!
NC (vo): Fuck you, you're part of the problem!
(Buddy flips a switch and the lights all turn on, with music playing – only to then shut down, to everyone's disappointment. Pak shrugs. Tia confides to Buddy, who starts looking around in the dark for the problem.)
NC (vo): It blows a fuse and... Okay, now we're forced to really look at what matters around Christmas, with no power or fancy lights–
(Instead, however, Emily and Ashley raise their cell phones, using them as flashlights for Buddy to see. The huge crowd also raise their cell phones for light, some also holding up candles, and waving them as they sing a Christmas song.)
NC (vo): Ohh, everyone takes out their cell phones, singing "Silent Night", and they see the problem!
(Steve's son Carter notices that one of the plugs is not plugged in properly, which explains why the lights did not work. He tightly plugs it in, and the lights turn back on, shining brightly, as a pop version of "Joy to the World" plays. Everyone is awed as the lights and music turn on. Pak meanwhile gets confirmation from MyEarth on Buddy's intentions, as the map of Massachusetts is lit up in one corner.)
Pak: The house is clearly visible FROM SPACE!
(And the film ends on a shot of the house covered in lights and everyone cheering.)
NC: Well! I don't know what the critics are! Nothing sums up the meaning of Christmas...
(Cut to a painting of the birth of Jesus.)
NC (vo): ...the season of giving, the humble beauty of a child born in a manger...
(Cut back to the people raising their cell phones in the air.)
NC (vo): ...like rich people using their portable computers to help a man who committed countless crimes illuminate his house to be seen from space. That's what Christmas is all about! Can you imagine if they gave all that money used on those lights to the poor? Jesus would have punched himself in his baby face! No, no, having your house seen from space is what it's all about! Thank God absolutely nobody learned a lesson here!
NC: Someone needs to go to hell for this!
(Clips of the movie plays as NC gives his final thoughts on the film.)
NC (vo): Wow! This truly is as bad as everyone says. It takes what could be a satirical presence and turns itself into the very monster the film is trying to warn you not to become. On top of that, the comedy is awkward, the writing's abysmal, the message hypocritical, it's just horrendous! I can see why it makes its way onto so many "worst" lists, because if people actually bought the bullshit this film was spewing, I'd tell George Bailey to jump.
NC: God, this film put me in a bad mood! Next week is Christmas 2020. I want a Danny DeVito Christmas film that intentionally makes me feel bad!
(Suddenly, to his surprise, he hears the voice of the Penguin, DeVito's character in Batman Returns.)
Penguin (vo): Tragic irony or poetic justice? You tell me.
Channel Awesome tagline – Ashley: Mom! All these lights...
Emily: ...were Dad's lights!
(The credits roll.)