There were times during Holiday Rush – plenty of times, if I’m being honest – when I just wanted to strangle Rush’s kids. I know, I know, Christmas movies, and this is supposed to be a about a journey, and so I just had to sit tight and they were going to learn about the meaning of Christmas and the importance of family and all that.
But boy, were they taking a while and I just wanted to get them to understand.
Often, Christmas movies, even when they involve kids – and boy, do they involve kids, and dogs, and people who have never shown maternal/paternal instincts suddenly being perfect at parenting – are not really about the kids, not truly about the family, but about a romance.
Holiday Rush wasn’t that movie. Yes, there is a romance, and yes Sonequa Martin-Green’s Roxy ends up being as much part of the family as anyone else. But the thing is, in many ways, it felt like Roxy was always part of the family, and all the movie did was …well, show Rush a few things he should have already known.
Magic of Christmas, and all of that.
Plus, as much as I wanted the kids to learn a lesson or twenty-five, the movie wasn’t even about that, if you ask me. Instead the movie was about …well, about setbacks, and about picking yourself back up and just …getting back out there. Well, that, and dealing with grief.
Sometimes, when you lose someone, you compensate with, well, things. Except things can never replace people, and pain, when you just cover it up, has a way of returning – stronger than ever. This is true for adults, and it’s even more on point for kids.
It feels cliché to say that the magic of Christmas sometimes help, but Christmas has a way of making us feel like family matters, like we should be closer, like we should …well, talk about the things that are hurting us. It isn’t always easy in this movie, of course it isn’t, but it’s heartfelt, and it’s real, and that’s just the way families are sometimes.
Messy and complicated and …yet, more often than not, the one thing you desperately need.
Add to that the fact that this movie has nary a white person in a speaking role – no, seriously, did any of them speak? – which, is exactly the kind of diversity we’d been asking for, and this is absolutely a must watch.
I can already feel some people’s eyes rolling. Why should I watch a movie because it has a mostly black cast? That’s not reason enough!
Except it should be. Diversity shouldn’t just be lip service, and minorities have been watching movies that don’t necessarily represent them for ages and ages. Not only that, they’ve been enjoying them and relating to them.
I, personally, found much to not just enjoy, but relate to in this movie. In the pain of a family who had lost a parent. In Roxy, a strong, determined, kind woman who wasn’t just there to be a mother-figure, but to be a partner, a businesswoman, in fact, the one who encouraged to take the next step toward entrepreneurship alongside her.
This was not just one of the favorite things of Holiday Rush star Romany Malco, and we discussed that and the diversity aspect in an interview we did with him, which you can find here; it should be the kind of thing that we take note of and try to emulate in Christmas movies to come.
Because yes, there are many entrepreneurship stories revolving around Christmas, most of them are just …very, very white.
And life isn’t, family isn’t, and this whole idea of wanting better for yourself, wanting to be your own boss, well, that absolutely isn’t either.
Yeah, I know. Shocking.
Perhaps it’s fate that this movie is coming out on Thanksgiving, when most of us are surrounded by our family, and reminded of what the holidays should be about. But hey, if you’re having a rough time, if that aunt is getting on your last nerve, if the kids are being ungrateful …well, sit down as a family and watch this.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might even scream at the TV, but most importantly, you’ll see yourself, and you’ll remember what matters.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think about Holiday Rush? Share with us in the comments below!
Holiday Rush is available to stream on Netflix today.