Holiday In The Wild

Kate (Kristin Davis) hasn’t even completed the full arc of her arm as she waves goodbye to her son as he leaves for college when her husband drops the bomb: he’s leaving. She’d had visions of reconnecting – she’d even planned a second honeymoon. So she sucks it up and goes on the trip by herself, to Africa. She intends to go to a 5-star safari resort but gets sidetracked along the way by an orphaned baby elephant in need of saving. She winds up at an elephant sanctuary where she meets handsome pilot Derek (Rob Lowe). She falls in love with the elephants rather than the guy, and her vacation turns into rather an extended stay. It’s like Under the Tuscan Sun, only with pachyderms rather than wine. Sorry, I just used pachyderm rather cavalierly just to avoid saying elephants too often. And now I’ve gone and said it again.

Aaaaand I’m back from a Google search which revealed that pachyderm is an obsolete order of very large mammals with thick skin, especially an elephant, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus. Sorry, that would have kept me up all night.

What was I saying? Oh right, Netflix’s most recent romance. It is in no way a good movie but if you’re in the mood for extremely light, fairly cheesy stuff, here ya go. What a time to be alive. Kristin Davis does the one and only thing she ever does on camera, and Rob Lowe does his charming thing and that’s fine too. I suppose it’s a benign little film that grooves on self-discovery and pursuing one’s passions rather than romantic interests (because hobbies never leave you).

To Netflix’s credit, they actually filmed in Africa, which gives them film some authentic flavour. The elephant scenes were filmed at a sanctuary in South Africa and at Game Rangers International Elephant Orphanage in Zambia. But to keep the elephants safe, very large, very convincing puppets were sometimes used. In real life, Kristin Davis walks the talk and has worked with the orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, bringing attention to conservation issues and the illegal ivory trade. I’m sure Rob Lowe is also pro-elephant, though he may have been into this mostly for the chance to work for his son, who played Davis’ college-bound son.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, it’s available forthwith at a Netflix near you – be warned though, it’s not technically a Christmas movie but it’s also not not a Christmas movie.

12 thoughts on “Holiday In The Wild

  1. Orca Flotta

    Does the movie only name the location as “Africa”? Oh well, I guess most American movie audiences don’t even know that Africa is a – rather huge – continent, not a country and where it is. And filming at locations in Republic South Africa and Zambia is like shooting a film that plays in “America”, using locations in Canada and Brazil.
    Stuff like that makes sure Americans stay on low levels of education. 😦


  2. Liz A.

    I’d be sold if she completely ditched all guys for the elephants. Could someone make that movie? I’d like to see that movie.


  3. Caz

    I really enjoyed this not scared to say! I’ve been to Zambia and that made me want to watch it when I saw it mentioned in the trailer. I have also been to South Africa and did a safari at a reserve there, kinda wondering if that was the place they shot some of this film as it was the place UK TV series Wild at Heart was filmed!


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  6. Doug

    Cheesy, canned & forced lines, stiff and stilted acting, and generally predictable and cliche. That said, for light-hearted warm & fuzzy distraction, no harm…the baby elephants carry the professional actors and save the film.


  7. Robert Jantzen

    Another year, another Christmas (2020). Just spotted a promo for the film on ABC, reminding me of this cute fluff we caught last holiday season, loved the Rob Lowe part. This is way better than Hallmark, at least it escaped the small town for the big outdoors, and you can’t get any bigger than Africa, outdoors! We are not looking for Oscar material when we stream this stuff. But loved your review.



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