holiday in the wild

Stars: 2.5/5

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, thankfully, and that means Netflix Christmas movies galore.  

New York housewife Kate Conrad (Kristin Davis) gets jilted by her husband the moment their son leaves for college. She decides to go on their safari second honeymoon by herself, which is the RHONY equivalent of dying your hair a different color.

In Africa, she meets pilot Derek (Rob Lowe), who was supposed to bring her somewhere but instead they rescue an orphaned baby elephant and bring it to the sanctuary where he coincidentally lives.  

In the sanctuary, we find out Kate is actually a vet. Hooray! So, she stays longer than expected to help with the elephants, actually staying until the holidays because this is a Christmas movie, falls in love with the elephant she rescued, named “Manu,” and also falls in love with Derek while she re-discovers herself. 

Kate’s son Luke (John Owen Lowe) visits her in the sanctuary announcing he wants to drop out of college to be a musician and prompting his mother’s return to New York. In New York, Kate begins work as a veterinarian again but comes to the rescue of the sanctuary along with her pals, the “Ladies Who Lunch,” returns to Africa, marries Rob Lowe and everyone lives happily ever after.

It’s a cutesy movie with a straightforward narrative. The plot resembles “Falling Inn Love” and other Netflix movies. Essentially, the love interest in the main character’s life leaves so they do something crazy that makes them realize they hate their lives, they want more, they want to find their passions and the person they were meant to be with. Nothing says feminism like a jilted woman on the loose with a hefty bank account. 

I definitely think this movie lacked more Christmas stuff and Christmas makes me happy so this movie didn’t make me that happy. I do love elephants though and I appreciate the fact they at least mention poachers and how the illegal trade of ivory harms such sweet, beautiful, intelligent animals. 

This is basically the PG-13 version of Charlotte in “Sex and the City.” Replace Harry with Derek, Elizabeth Taylor, Charlotte’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for Manu the elephant, change Charlotte’s degree from art history to a DVM, add Africa, remove the sex and add some Christmas stuff and it’s virtually the same thing.

This movie also marks the return of John Owen Lowe, Rob Lowe’s youngest son, to film. Nepotism be damned. While Luke is a minor supporting character with minimal screen time, I’d say that the youngest of the Lowe clan has potential but lacks the years of experience that differentiate grape juice from a 1787 Château Margaux. 

Regardless, all Christmas movies deserve to be watched at least once.

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