“Candy Cane Lane”: Hilarious Holiday Film

I have always admitted that I am a sucker for good Christmas films. I especially like ones that are a bit different or are funny. I also have always liked Eddie Murphy. “Candy Cane Lane” combines the two, bringing us Eddie Murphy as his most charming along with an equally funny cast to create a hilarious holiday film.

In “Candy Cane Lane”, a Christmas comedy film directed by Reginald Hudlin and written by Kelly Younger, we are introduced to Christopher Carver (Eddie Murphy) who’s just been let go from his job. He wants Christmas to go well for his family, especially as his wife, Carol (Tracee Ellis Ross) is up for a promotion at her job. His neighborhood is having an annual contest to decide which house is the best decorated and desperate to win, Chris makes a deal with an evil elf, Pepper (Jillian Bell). He soon learns that if he doesn’t succeed in the deal, she’ll turn him into a plastic doll along with the others she’s changed over the years. Chris must rally his entire family to stop Pepper from unleashing misery on his family and friends and break the deal before he loses everything. The film stars Genneya Walton as Joy Carver, Thaddeus J. Mixon as Nicholas Carver, Madison Thomas as Holly Carver, Nick Offerman as Pip, Robin Thede as Cordelia, and Chris Redd as Lamplighter Gary. 

One of the things I love the most about Candy Cane Lane is that it has a unique and original idea for using a Christmas Carol in the plot. Not only is the idea interesting but it is executed well. In the film, Chris buys a special ornamental tree that revolves around the Twelve Days of Christmas. In order to break the deal with Pepper, he must find all the rings from the tree. The only problem is the ornaments have all come to life. I love how the ornaments are used in the film, the hilarious actions as they’re directed by Pepper and what happens each time Chris and his family capture another ring. Nothing goes quite as you would expect. While the movie is predictable, the concept with the ornaments is unusual and entertaining.

The movie is a hilarious holiday film. Eddie Murphy is funny, especially as he sets up his holiday decorations and his interactions with his neighbors. But it is not solely on Murphy’s shoulders. Everyone in the film gets the opportunity to shine. Tracee Ellis Ross is a laugh riot as Carol, her reactions and her ability to organize part of what makes the film funny. When daughter Joy (Genneya Walton) tells her parents she doesn’t want to go to USC, her facial expressions are priceless. Thaddeus J. Mixon has humorous moments when he’s avoiding questions about his math class. The actress playing Pepper, Jillian Bell, is a highlight as the villain of the piece. Her scenes will make you laugh out loud. I especially love some of the scenes and rivalries with the neighbors over decorations. Every moment of this film has funny and heartwarming scenes, just right for the holidays.

Without the actors, the comedy would not work. Eddy Murphy is heartwarming and charming as Chris Carver. He feels genuine as a husband and father who cares about his family and wants them to have the best holiday ever. His interactions with Tracee Ellis Ross are warm and loving, their dynamic solid and believable. His dynamic with Jillian Bell adds to the comedy as they interact. Tracee Ellis Ross is humorous and protective of her family as Carol Carver. She does a beautiful job of performing in this film. Thaddeus J. Mixon, Genneya Walton and Madison Thomas as the three children show off strengths. Holly adds the cuteness factor and is a delight. Genneya Walton is strong as Joy and Thaddeus J. Mixon shows off his musical talent. Jillian Bell is maliciously funny as Pepper and is the perfect foil to Murphy. Nick Offerman as Pip, Robin Thede as Cordelia, and Chris Redd as Lamplighter Gary are delightful and a wonderful addition to the cast. There is not a bad actor in this film and some fantastic surprises including Ken Marino as neighbor Bruce, Timothy Simons as a newscaster, and Danielle Pinnock as his co-host. Every single person is hilarious and fun in this film.


If there is any downside, because this is a Christmas movie, it can be very predictable. There are some surprises but the outcome of the film was easy to predict. The lessons are familiar ones and the ideas as well. However, it still has a brilliant use for a Christmas song and it is such fun I don’t mind the predictable elements. 

If you love Holiday films and Eddy Murphy, I think he is at his best and you will love the comedic scenes. I laughed throughout the movie and loved that every single character gets the opportunity to be funny. The entire cast is talented and gives a great performance. It is a funny cast and story. I loved every moment of the movie. It is a hilarious holiday film. 

4 out of 5 ornaments. 

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