By Jennifer Corr and Julie Prisco
One of the best parts of the holiday season is gathering in the living room with family and friends, enjoying some festive treats and putting on a holiday movie.
We’ve all seen the classics, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Home Alone. And while it’s always fun to rewatch them, trying something new is also great.
Every year, streaming services like Netflix and Prime Video release movies just in time for the holidays. This year, Best. Christmas. Ever!, Family Switch and Candy Cane Lane are available to watch from the comfort of your home.
Long Island Weekly watched these movies to tell you if it’s worth your time this holiday season.
Best. Christmas. Ever!: Starring Heather Graham, Brandy, Jason Biggs and Matt Cedeño, this movie, available on Netflix, is practically two movies in one.
The premise is rather simple: Jackie, played by Brandy, discusses her family’s achievements via a Christmas newsletter sent out every year. Charlotte, played by Heather Graham, receives the letter and sees it as bragging, but when her family ends up at Jackie’s, she learns that not everything is as great as it seems, as Jackie and her husband, played by Matt Cedeño, were quietly grieving. Most of the movie feels like a Hallmark movie, and at times, the script does not feel believable. But, it could serve as a great conversation piece over some drinks. Overall, Long Island Weekly recommends watching this movie over a glass of wine or in the background as you decorate the tree or bake cookies.
Family Switch: Starring Jennifer Garner, Ed Helms, Emma Myers and Brady Noon, this movie, available on Netflix, is a good time reminiscent of Freaky Friday. This film follows a family who has found themselves growing distant from each other as they each lead very different lives. They end up fighting with one another and wishing, “you would know what it’s like to be me.” The parents and children, as well as the baby and the family dog, wake up the following day, switching bodies. In the end, they get a better understanding of one another and become much closer. While it’s marketed as a holiday movie, it’s a movie that can be watched any time of year, as the fact that it’s the holidays is only a background theme of the film. Some of the script and jokes are cheesy and unbelievable, but there are a lot of funny moments.
Candy Cane Lane: Starring Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross and Jillian Bell, Amazon Prime’s new holiday film, Candy Cane Lane, follows Chris Carver, played by Eddie Murphy, on his journey to win the neighborhood’s annual Christmas decorating contest. His determination to win the grand prize leads him to make a pact with an elf. The elf casts a spell that brings to life the 12 days of Christmas, and now the Carver family has to wrangle in three French hens, six geese a-laying and more before time is up. This new holiday movie brings to life the classic Christmas song, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” in an exciting way as the family has to face their own conflicts and re-learn how to work together as a family. The movie is full of holiday comedy and is an all-around cheery film for the whole family to enjoy. Famous a cappella pop group Pentatonix is featured in the film, adding a dash of classic holiday music.