Eddie Murphy and Tracy Ellis Ross Light Up the Holiday Season
“Candy Cane Lane,” starring the dynamic duo of Eddie Murphy and Tracy Ellis Ross, promises a festive treat filled with holiday cheer and a touch of whimsy. Murphy’s character, Chris Carver, ambitiously aims to win the title of the best holiday decorator in his neighborhood. The twist? A deal with an elf turns his Christmas-themed ambitions into a whimsical, if slightly chaotic, reality. This enchanting tale, filmed in the heart of Los Angeles, offers audiences a blend of holiday magic and comedy.
The Cinematic Canvas of “Candy Cane Lane”
El Segundo, Los Angeles: A Picturesque Backdrop
The film’s opening scenes, set against the quaint backdrop of El Segundo, capture the essence of a charming neighborhood gearing up for the holidays. With the local high school occasionally peeking through and the scenic Santa Monica Bay area providing a stunning beach setting, the location itself becomes a character in the film. Playa Del Rey Beach, with the Scattergood Generating Station visible in the background, serves as the perfect locale for beach scenes, adding to the film’s visual allure.
Colonial Street, Universal Studios Hollywood: A Set with History
Another significant filming location is Colonial Street at Universal Studios Hollywood. This iconic set, a staple in productions for over six decades, has seen its share of cinematic history. From the suburban drama of “Desperate Housewives” to the horror of “House of 1000 Corpses,” this street has been transformed for various narratives. Its ability to morph into any suburban setting, complete with detailed fronts, has made it an economical and versatile choice for filmmakers.
The Creative Minds Behind the Holiday Magic
Eddie Murphy: More Than Just a Star
Eddie Murphy takes on the dual role of lead actor and producer in “Candy Cane Lane.” Collaborating with seasoned producers like Brian Grazer, Karen Lunder, Douglas C Merrifield, and Charisse M Hewitt, Murphy brings his unique vision to this festive project. This film marks the beginning of Murphy’s three-picture and first-look film deal with Amazon Studios, following the success of “Coming 2 America.”
Reginald Hudlin: A Director with a Vision
Directed by the acclaimed Reginald Hudlin, known for his work on “Django Unchained” and “House Party,” “Candy Cane Lane” benefits from his seasoned storytelling and cinematic style. Hudlin’s collaboration with Murphy, rekindled since their work on “Boomerang” in 1992, infuses the film with a blend of nostalgia and contemporary humor.
In an interview with The Grio, Hudlin shared insights into the making of “Candy Cane Lane.” “We had been looking for something else to do together for a while,” Hudlin remarked. He added, “We’re both family guys, we love Christmas, so we both very much identified with the characters and the story.” This personal connection to the film’s theme is evident in the heartwarming and joyful atmosphere of the set.
The Real-Life Inspiration Behind the Story
Eddie Murphy, in a conversation with Vancouver is Awesome, revealed a fascinating tidbit about the film’s writer, Kelley Younger. Younger’s childhood experiences on the real Candy Cane Lane in El Segundo, where holiday decoration competitions were a community highlight, served as the inspiration for the film’s central theme. This connection to real-life traditions adds an extra layer of authenticity and charm to the movie.
“Candy Cane Lane” is not just a holiday film; it’s a celebration of community, family, and the magic of Christmas. With its star-studded cast, picturesque locations, and heartwarming story, it’s set to become a festive favorite for audiences around the world.