‘Candy Cane Lane’ is the new Christmas comedy film streaming on Prime Video. It is directed by Reginald Hudlin, written by Kelly Younger, and stars two comedy powerhouses – Eddie Murphy and Tracee Ellis Ross in the lead roles. Murphy and Ross play a married couple in the festive Christmas season, trying to balance their personal and professional lives. We meet Murphy’s Chris as a married man determined to win the local annual Christmas decorating contest after losing his job. To win the contest, he makes a pact with an elf from a local shop. It results in unexpected chaos in their town. So, the film becomes a mix of fantasy, comedy, and family drama. You can consider it a magical Christmas film, which you can enjoy with your family. Spoilers ahead!

Candy Cane Lane (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

What is Candy Cane Lane starring Eddie Murphy, about?

The Eddie Murphy starrer ‘Candy Cane Lane’ on Prime Video is a fun, heartwarming Christmas family film. It follows Chris Carver (played by Eddie Murphy), a middle-aged family man, trying to win his neighborhood’s Christmas decoration competition. While his wife Carol (played by Tracee Ellis Ross) gets offered a promotion, he gets laid off from his job. The couple have three children – Joy, Nick, and Holly. On possibly the worst day in his life, he learns about a local annual competition. The person who has the best-decorated house for Christmas wins a grand prize of $100,000. Chris believes he wants to win it for the sake of his family – to give them the gift of a perfect Christmas.

In reality, he wants to get that cash prize for the sake of his self-esteem. But he realizes that much later. Before that happens, he gets jealous of his neighbor Bruce’s (played by Ken Marino) decoration set-up. So, in order to win the competition, he visits a store that sells Christmas stuff. He and his youngest daughter – Holly (played by Madison Thomas), love one of the installations and decide to purchase it. That’s where the trouble begins.

What happens when Chris meets Pepper at her store?

The store manager/owner Pepper (played by Jillian Bell), notices Chris’ enthusiasm to win the competition. She asks him what Christmas means to him, and he speaks about being kind-hearted in the spirit of togetherness. Eventually, he purchases the unique ’12 days of Christmas’ tree. He does not read the terms and conditions that come along with his payment receipt and returns with the huge box. Later at night, when Santa reaches Carvers’ house, everyone gets blown away by Bruce’s decoration. But then comes the time for Chris’, who outdoes his neighbor and impresses everyone with the play of light and color.

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The next morning, Chris wakes up to a strange call from an unknown caller. He then walks out to see the decorations all damaged by someone. Besides he also notices a bunch of swans in their swimming pool. Carol gets upset about it. But he reveals that he never purchased them. Later, he thinks his neighbors are behind the issue and blames them. He drives back to the shop to ask Pepper for a replacement for the stolen ornaments from his tree.

While she steps away for a bit, Holly hears a voice calling out her name. She realizes that it is coming from a tiny figurine next to a model house. That’s when she and Chris see a bunch of similar miniature figurines. They start speaking with Pip (played by Nick Offerman), Lamplighter Gary (played by Chris Redd), and Cordelia (played by Robin Thede), who informs them about Pepper’s evil plan.

What is Pepper’s evil plan?

Candy Cane Lane (2023) Movie - HOF
A still from Candy Cane Lane (2023)

Pip, Gary, and Cordelia had all come in contact with Pepper in the past. Pepper is an elf and since they were said to be on Santa’s naughty list, she punished them by turning them into small creatures and trapping them into a small Christmas-themed village. Chris might become her next target if he fails her test. He did not realize he agreed to this wish while signing his receipt. So, he must return five golden rings before the clock tower dings – at 8 o’clock on Christmas Eve. At first, Chris thinks it’s a joke. But he starts finding rings in different places. Since six geese attack Carol in the morning, he goes to her workplace to catch another one.

Chris returns to the shop and steals the small house with him. He hides it in their garage and seeks their help for his mission. Carol, Joy (played by Genney Walton), and Nick (played by Thaddeus J Mixson) also learn about it and decide to join the task force. But Pepper gets a hint of the missing village and goes out on the lookout. She soon gets a hint that Chris may have it. So, while trying to impress the Christmas decoration judges and finding the rings, he has to fight against Pepper’s force. There’s also the family drama he needs to deal with Nick’s poor grades in Maths, and Joy’s wish to learn at a university at some distance.

Candy Cane Lane (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

Do the Carvers win against Pepper the Elf?

With the help of his family, Chris manages to obtain five rings. But that’s when he learns something worse. He realizes that they need to find not five but many more. In short, Pepper keeps changing the rules to make Chris lose. Santa Claus (played by David Alan Grier) also cannot protect Chris in this case because he signed a contract. So, for failing it, Chris suddenly gets shrunk and turns into a miniature like the others from the shop.

Luckily, he gets in a miniature car with Pip, Gary & Cordelia and tries to find a solution. While Chris starts losing hope, he apologizes to his family and accepts that he was acting out of his self-interest. He wanted to win the contest to boost his self-esteem. Eventually, he and the family realize that they have 38 rings in total. With both Chris and Carol’s engagement rings, they get 40 rings in total, and voila! The Carvers win against Pepper the Elf. Chris returns to his normal size, and just like him, other miniatures also do. In the end, Chris mends his friendship with Bruce. Carol also gets the job she was looking for. So, the Christmas season works in their favor, and they all get the things they want.

Final Word:

Throughout the film, you see a consumerist approach to storytelling where many jokes and gags are specifically designed to cater to different consumer bases. They may or may not fit organically in the scenes, but they can serve specific sets of audiences. Still, despite all such flaws in its script, Candy Cane Lane is a wholesome family entertainer for the cozy Christmas season.


Candy Cane Lane (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Wikipedia
The Cast of Candy Cane Lane (2023) Movie: Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jillian Bell, Madison Thomas, Nick Offerman
Candy Cane Lane (2023) Movie Genre: Comedy | Runtime: 2h
Where to watch Candy Cane Lane

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