I was excited to watch 'The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls', as I loved the one last year. From the 'Handsome Justice' clips and father jokes to the maniacal sibling rivalry, 'The Christmas House' was one of my favorite Christmas movies in 2020. And it was one of the funniest Hallmark Christmas movies I have ever seen. So, as you can imagine, 'Deck Those Halls' had a lot to live up to, and I am happy to report that it does not disappoint. It is a fun, clever, and cute film with several laughing-out-loud moments and even a couple of touching scenes to boot. The story follows the Mitchell brothers, Mike (played by Robert Buckley) and Brandon (played by Jonathan Bennett), as they compete against each other on a TV competition show for the King of Christmas. Who can create the best Christmas House this year? Hopefully, the two don't end up destroying everything that gets in their way. The script is great. The writers do a wonderful job again with the dialogue, especially between the brothers. The sibling fights are not only fun to watch but also feel real, a sign of some good writing. This time around the writers spend more scenes developing Mike and Brandon's (back)stories. That is, they add depth to these characters. As a result, we get to know them better, allowing the viewer to invest more in and engage more with their stories. The writers again do a wonderful job of developing the dialogue and interaction between the family members more broadly. Indeed, the family dynamics is what makes these two movies so successful, I think. The setup of the movie in this one is also fun to watch, as there is (competition show) interview footage of family members where they discuss the Christmas House, family traditions, and themselves. These are some of the funniest scenes in the movie. By the way, the magic guy makes an appearance in this one too. Speaking of magic, the cast, like in the first, is brilliant. The chemistry between the family is what makes all this work on-screen. Buckley and Bennett again have impressive performances with some great back-and-forth. I also appreciated the worries and vulnerability they brought to their characters, though in different ways. Though less screen time than the first, Treat Williams (as the Dad) and Sharon Lawrence (as the Mom) still have great performances. They were fun to watch, making me laugh or chuckle a few times (especially their interviews). The rest of the cast also does a great job this time around. Finally, there is plenty of Christmas cheer in this one, as you might expect when the story is partly about the Christmas decoration competition. All in all, 'The Christmas House 2' is a lot of fun from start to finish with some brilliant performances and great (on-screen) chemistry between the cast. It's one of Hallmark's best this season. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a third movie.
The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls
The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls
Hollywood television star Mike Mitchell heads home to the Hudson Valley in upstate New York for the Christmas hiatus, planning for a quiet holiday, especially as he contemplates popping the question to his childhood friend, divorced travel agent Andi Cruz. In the thought of proposing to Andi, he is also trying to be more of a parental figure to Andi's son Noah, especially as Noah's father, Ryan Zane, who has a history of being in and out of his life, has once again re-entered his son's life with a bang. This Christmas would be unlike the near fiasco of last Christmas, the final year of the Mitchell family's "Christmas house": his parents Bill and Phylis Mitchell's long-held tradition to transform completely their family home for Christmas, the last year as Bill and Phylis have since retired and want to focus on other things in life. The other people involved, Mike's older brother, bakery owner Brandon Mitchell, his architect husband Jake, and their two infant children, are coming from Denver also wanting to eke out their own family Christmas traditions between the four of them, they staying in Andi's mother's otherwise empty house next door. Things take a turn when Mike's publicist Kathleen has arranged for Mike to be on "Deck Those Halls", a head-to-head annual house Christmas decorating competition show between two celebrities, Mike reluctantly agreeing in succumbing to the pressure to do so from all sides, including Andi, Noah and his family, meaning the last minute resurrection of the Christmas house. But when the other celebrity has to bow out, Kathleen, in seeing the rivalry between the two of them, has what she thinks is even a better idea: for Mike's competitor to be Brandon, the second house to be Andi's mother's. As Ryan unexpectedly arrives on the scene to add to the complications, the question becomes whether the Mitchell family as a collective and the three individual pods - Mike, Andi and Noah in one, Brandon, Jake and their two children in a second, and Bill and Phylis in the third - will be able to survive the proceedings.
November 28, 2022 at 01:43 PM
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A lot of fun from start to finish...
Mike is offered to be on a show called "Deck Those Halls" in which celebrities decorate houses and one is chosen as the winner. Mike and Brandon compete and the winner will be named "King of Christmas".
It was fun. The cast have great chemistry, specially Robert and Jonathan. They make those sibling fights so realistic. They fight about the stupidest things and yet it's the fiercest competition of all.
There a lot of funny moments, slow motion scenes and the interviews cracked me up. I didn't see those coming (I don't think they were in the first movie)
I also liked that they portraited a realistic relationship between exes, specially one where a child in common is involved. Once again, the love relationships are secondary plots but very important to the main characters.
It's a fun and good sequel. If you watched the first one, you should watch this.
Light and Funny
A fun to watch Christmas movie, it's light and doesn't follow the usual Hallmark formula. The usual formula is centered on a lone female looking for love, this is about three families and competition between two brothers. It's farcical, not full of hot cocoa, holiday sweets and gingerbread. I haven't seen gingerbread in grocery bakery sections for years, it's very dated.
This is better than the original movie, it has better writing and it moves at a fast clip so there aren't boringly slow conversations that bog down many Hallmark movies. And it's not full of nostalgia for the past like some of the Hallmark movies this year.
I hope Hallmark is planning on a 3rd Christmas House.