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Candy Cane Lane

Eddie Murphy makes his Christmas movie debut in this family friendly film. If you're expecting a typical Eddie Murphy slapstick comedy, you won't find it here. This film starts slow and never truly ramps up to the chaos one would expect. The movie is about, you guessed it, the holiday spirit. Although it turns out to be less of a Christmas movie and more of a tale about a disconnected family.

Chris Carver is our main character, gracefully hand crafting his very own original Christmas decorations. We see him as a very detailed and organized person. Meanwhile his neighbor Bruce, played by Ken Marino, is very competitive. A new prize announcement for the most decorated house on the street causes Chris to get in the competitive spirit himself. A tragedy that happens right before Christmas causes Chris to get even more excited about the prospect of winning the competition.

Chris ends up taking his youngest daughter Holly, played by Madison Thomas, out of school to help him decorate. Holly is the youngest Carver, and the one with the most Christmas spirit. Together they find a magical store under a bridge, just when there was no other Christmas decorations to be found anywhere. The store is run by an elf named Pepper, played by Jillian Bell. The Carver's stock up on excessive decorations and holiday goodies, including a magnum Toblerone bar. At the checkout, Pepper makes sure that Chris signs his receipt without reading any of the fine print. It is pretty obvious that something undesireable will happen once he does this, but he signs anyway.

The next day the ornaments seem to come alive and wreak havoc on the Carver family. Chris ends up in a wild race against time with his family. Will they continue to fight about their disagreements or can they come together to defeat Pepper and win the Candy Cane Lane contest?

This film is advertised as a comedy, but the only real comedic aspect is how cheesy it is. The movie definitely had the potential to bring a fresh perspective to traditional Christmas, but ultimately it lacked in its execution.

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

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