Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane is a throwaway Christmas flick with a family-friendly Eddie Murphy starring as an recently laid off salesman obsessed with winning his California neighborhood's house decoration contest (even as he should be thinking about putting away money to pay his bills). This is the least edgy movie Eddie Murphy has ever made. In fact, it may be the least edgy movie anyone has ever made. Every aspect from Murphy to Ken Marino as the dicksish neighbor who is actually a not dickish at all and a pretty good neighbor, is as bland as can be.

After investing in Christmas ornaments sold by an elf gone bad (Jillian Bell), Chris Carver (Murphy) and his family (Tracee Ellis Ross, Genneya Walton, and Thaddeus J. Mixson) will have to track down magical artifacts before he's turned into a Christmas ornament. Okay? What follows is a good natured snorefest eventually culminating in the decoration contest covered live on the local news which even brings Santa Claus (David Alan Grier) to town. 

Possibly the most interesting, and from its conclusion almost certainly unintentional, aspect of the movie is how Christmas spirit gets people in hot water as arguably the source of their trouble. It turns Pepper crazy, it makes enemies of Chris and Bruce (Marino) every year despite them otherwise being good friends, and even the enchanted Christmas ornaments, constantly breaking into song, come off as damaged specifically by Christmas. Had the film leaned into these ideas maybe Candy Cane Lane could have found something interesting to say. Instead, the film seems to exist solely to keep the attention of low-expectation viewers who have run out of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies to watch.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Candy Cane Lane
  • IMDb: link

No comments: