Film Pick of the Week: Holiday in the Wild - review by Yvette Huddleston

Holiday in the WildNetflix, review by Yvette Huddleston

This festive romcom, with a twist, from Netflix is the equivalent of televisual comfort food. There are no big surprises plot wise but that is part of the point of these kind of movies – there may one or two bumps along the way, but the journey’s end is guaranteed to be upbeat.

And it is very watchable, helped in this case by its setting in Zambia which provides the opportunity for some stunning cinematography and beautiful vistas. But first, we begin in New York where Kate (Kristin Davis, best known for her role as Charlotte in Sex and the City) and her wealthy businessman husband Drew (Colin Moss) are preparing to see their only son Luke (John Owen Lowe) off to college in a few days’ time. It is late August and they are posing for their Christmas card photograph in front of a decorated tree in their enormous Manhattan loft apartment.

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Kate is anticipating Luke’s departure with some trepidation and facing the prospect of empty nest syndrome. She confides to her girlfriends – who proudly dub themselves ‘ladies who lunch’ – that she is thinking of perhaps going back to work; before getting married she had been a vet. However, that thought doesn’t have much time to develop in her mind before her husband – literally as soon as their son has left for college – announces that he doesn’t love her anymore and is moving out.

Rob Lowe and Kristin David in Holiday in the Wild. Picture: NetflixRob Lowe and Kristin David in Holiday in the Wild. Picture: Netflix
Rob Lowe and Kristin David in Holiday in the Wild. Picture: Netflix

It means that Kate will be travelling solo for the second honeymoon she had planned for them both in Zambia. Soon after she arrives, she meets handsome pilot Derek Hollistan (Rob Lowe) who will be flying her to the next stop on her itinerary – an exclusive safari lodge. However, during the flight they make an unscheduled stop in the wild and they find a traumatized baby elephant whose mother has been killed by ivory poachers. Derek contacts the rescue team from the nearby elephant sanctuary where, it later transpires, he lives and Kate decides to go with the baby elephant in order to take care of it.

Kate is welcomed by the friendly team at the sanctuary and finds that with her veterinary training she is useful there, so she extends her stay right up to Christmas, during which time she and Derek become close friends, enjoying each other’s company. There are no prizes for guessing what happens next. It may be predictable, but this certainly does deliver on the festive feelgood level.