On the one hand, I wanted a different kind of holiday movie, I did. Not everyone’s holiday is about snow, and decorations, and if Holiday in the Wild does one thing right, it’s give a glimpse of a different type of holiday celebration, one that isn’t any less joyful or happy because it’s not what we’re using the seeing.
But, as much as Holiday in the Wild sometimes gets close to the mark, it never really hits it the way it should. In fact, the most memorable thing about it might just be …the elephants?
Maybe I’m just being a Grinch. Or maybe, just maybe, Holiday in the Wild would have been a much better movie, with you know, a focus on the POC in the reservation, and the wonderful work they do. Yes, the movies are getting more diverse, but adding diversity in the background isn’t really change, it’s just taking the easy way out. Especially when, as I mentioned, the elephant had more of a backstory than any of the secondary characters.
But even pushing that aside (which we shouldn’t), the movie is just …not cheesy enough for my expectations of holiday movies, nor romantic enough. In fact, the only thing it actually manages to do is be pretty, like I said, in a conventional way, but pretty indeed.
It isn’t all that bad, either. It’s entertaining, and silly enough for the genre. For example, we start with the “picture perfect” family, and then Kate’s husband turns around and literally tells her their marriage is done about 2.5 seconds after their son left for college. Like, he’d BARELY walked out the door. I’m sure he hadn’t even made it to the lobby yet.
She decides to go on the second honeymoon she’d planned for them, by herself. And then, of course, she meets Rob Lowe, who exudes the right kind of charisma as Derek. The problem is, that for all the light banter and all the time they spend together, I’m still not actually sure how or why they fell in love. It’s not that there isn’t a spark, it’s just that there isn’t a real storyline there, bringing them together.
Which I guess isn’t that weird for the genre, but when I’m buying her attachment to the elephant more than the love interest, we’ve got a problem.
And I haven’t even gotten to the fact that this is the least Christmasy movie in the history of Christmas movies. I’m 100% convinced the people behind this wanted to make a movie about elephants, and the romance, and the timing was just an excuse to do that. And hey, I wholeheartedly support that, but if we’re gonna spend Christmas in Zambia, I would have liked to, you know, see something about Christmas in Zambia.
But overall, we aren’t exactly here for elevated entertainment, and playing this movie isn’t exactly a chore. It’s not so bad it’s good, but it’s not horrible either, and as a plus, ELEPHANTS. So I guess my point is, no need to play it first, or play it over and over, but also not the worst way to spend an hour plus. Especially if you play it in the background. The elephants, at least, are worth it.
OUR ‘SO BAD IT’S GOOD’ RATING 5/10
REALISM FACTOR: 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄
DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT REALISM FACTOR: 🎄
CHEESE FACTOR: 🎄
ROMANCE FACTOR: 🎄🎄
TROPEY-NESS FACTOR: 🎄🎄🎄