Monday, December 4, 2023

'Tis the Season - Candy Cane Lane (2023)

Streaming Service: Amazon Prime
Movie Name/Year: Candy Cane Lane (2023)
Genre: Holiday, Comedy, Fantasy
Length: 1h 57min
Rating: PG
Production/Distribution: Amazon Studios, Eddie Murphy Productions, Imagine Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Amazon Prime Video
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Writer: Kelly Younger
Actors: Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jillian Bell, Genneya Walton, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Madison Thomas, Nick Offerman, Chris Redd, Robin Thede, David Alan Grier, Ken Marino, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Lombardo Boyar, Timothy Simons, Danielle Pinnock, D.C. Young Fly, Iman Benson, Belle Le Grand, Tiago Roberts, Trevante Rhodes, James DuMont, Ali Astin, Riki Lindhome, Catherine Dent, Kimberly Christian, Amanda Schoonover, Haiden Pino, Tom Lindsey, Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, Kevin Olusola, Matt Sallee, Aidan Kennedy, Amy Johnston
IMDb Blurb: A man is determined to win the neighborhood's annual Christmas decorating contest. He makes a pact with an elf to help him win--and the elf casts a spell that brings the 12 days of Christmas to life, which brings unexpected chaos to town.
Cat’s Point of View:
When I first watched the trailer for Candy Cane Lane, I was fairly bouncing in my seat with anticipation for its release on Prime Video. Every time I see a movie billing Eddie Murphy (Mr. Church, Coming 2 America, You People) in a comedy, it gets all my nostalgic feelings of glee stirring. When paired with the concept of a fun family Christmas movie and the rest of the star-studded cast, Candy Cane Lane was a no-brainer to add to my must-watch list for a December “Family Movie Night.”  (It was a foregone conclusion that this film would land on my personal Top 20, as well.)
I’m a bit frustrated with the low-trending rating scores I’ve seen for Candy Cane Lane. Was it the best Christmas comedy movie I’ve ever seen? No, and yet it was a fun experience. I certainly didn’t feel like my time was wasted. My family and I watched together and we had a great time.
There were some sketchy CGI effects in the opening sequence of the film that set up expectations for potential wonkiness, but it honestly didn’t seem to repeat itself. A few of the comedic moments were a little cringe, but it had less of that flavor of comedy than quite a few recent well-received movies. The themes of family, the Christmas spirit, and putting loved ones over “keeping up with the Joneses” and the commercialization of the holiday all fit within the story without feeling like someone was preaching.
Seriously, Candy Cane Lane was far more entertaining than most of the recycled Christmas romance stuff that plays nonstop this time of year on the Lifetime and Hallmark networks. My daughter and I were also very excited about how the story worked our favorite a capella group Pentatonix into the tale.
I do feel that with a team such as Murphy and Tracee Ellis Ross (Little, Black-ish, American Fiction) playing his his on-screen wife, there was considerable potential for more of Murphy’s trademark comedic style. There was, however, nothing wrong with his more straightforward character who was working at being a good dad and family provider - even if slightly Christmas-obsessive.
Jillian Bell (Green Eggs and Ham, Fool's Paradise, Good Burger 2) has been firing on all cylinders playing villains this year, too.
Over all, Candy Cane Lane had an interesting concept that felt fresh where its Christmas Magic was concerned while delivering relatable family content. It was a bit of a bonkers ride, but it was easy to just go with the flow. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Candy Cane Lane to anyone looking to add something fun to a family movie night this Holiday Season.
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 39%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 42%
Metascore – 47%
Metacritic User Score – 4.4/10
IMDB Score – 5.7/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5
P.S. – There are some bloopers and an additional scene mid-credits.
Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment