Netflix's 'Holiday Rush' review: Romany Malco fails to raise this Christmas movie above its familiar and dull premise
In this heartwarming film, a father reconnects with his family when they find out that Christmas spirit is not about what you have but who you have around you
Christmas time calls for gifts, carols and holiday cheer. A romantic comedy with a sparkle of magic, 'Holiday Rush' brings in a cozy family treat made just this holiday season. Focusing on the importance of family and good faith with a flare of innocence, this is one adorable family movie.
The film touches on many themes such as positivity and gratefulness but also focuses on the positive effects of being humble. With scenes meant to tug at your heartstrings, the relatable situations that families may face during the holiday are put forth with care and comfort.
The title of the film plays on the name of the main character, Rashon 'Rush' Williams (Romany Malco), a rich well-known radio jockey planning on furthering his dreams with his business partner and friend Roxy Richardson (Sonequa Martin-Green).
With a mansion and four children—two of them adorable twin girls, a successful radio career and a tight-knit circle, Rush is living the life.
Having lost his wife Paula (La La Anthony) recently, Rush poured out his affection for his children giving them everything they wanted, and even things they didn't. Trying to be both parents to his now spoilt kids, he went a little too far.
On their way to a meeting to discuss a proposal to own a part of the station they work at, they find out that their station, WMLE, has been bought by CamCom, a massive network. Their boss and friend Marshall (Dean Cole) tells them that their show is going off-air and that they are going to be fired: "We are heading in a different direction", their boss tells them.
With the demands of four Christmas gift lists, hefty bills and a son who has his heart set on Harvard, Rush breaks down as he now can't provide for his family.
His aunt Jo brings him back to reality, letting him know that a little faith goes a long way—echoing the central sentiments of the movie. "It's not what you got, it's what you got around you."
With the dreams of his three girls ranging from live mini horses to Prada purses, Rush is faced with not being able to afford his son's acceptance into Harvard. After having built a life that he thought was secure, he couldn't give his son the future that he dreamed of.
During Christmas preparations, Roxy tells him that Krush BQL, the station that they both had first started and got their big break at, was up for sale. With financial aid from both Roxy and Aunt Jo, Rush reluctantly agrees to take the risk and buy the building, acquiring the station in tow.
With his faith restored, and angry kids on his tail, Rush 'downsizes' his family's lavish life and moves in with his Aunt Jo and puts their mansion on the market.
He then meets his wife, who shows up in a magic-like light, to clear his mind as he reminisces about their life as a family and past Christmases with their young kids. His wife tells him about moving on, asking him to treasure their memories, but to 'turn the page' by buying the station. This gives Rush the confidence that he exudes through the rest of the movie.
With his daughter refusing to talk to him and his son refusing to enter the house, he faces an emotional rollercoaster as his little clan adjusts to the change.
Upon hearing that Rush and Roxy had bought a radio station, Joss Hokins (Tamala Jones) executive VP of CamCom asks Marshall to make sure that no advertisers buy time at Rush's station making sure that they won't be able to broadcast their show. The duo are forced to start airing their show without advertisements leading to a commercial-free Christmas.
The two main characters, Rush and Roxy, are portrayed by Romany Malco and Sonequa Martin-Green respectively. Romany has become a respected name after his work in 'Weeds', 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin', 'Think Like a Man' and 'Last Vegas' His role as Rush in this comedy fell true to his style of acting in comedy, romance, and drama.
La La Anthony, who carved her name in the entertainment industry with her work in 'Direct Effect', 'Power', 'Unforgettable' and 'Think Like a Man' takes a step back from her strong roles to play Rush's late loving wife, Paula.
Sonequa Martin-Green plays the role of Roxy, Rush's business partner and love interest. Her strong, ambitious and optimistic character stays in tune with the themes of movie. Appearing in 'Star Trek: Discovery', 'The Walking Dead', 'Once Upon a Tim' and 'The Good Wife', she is an actress, writer, and producer.
This is director Leslie Small's Netflix debut, she is known for 'Hair Show', 'Tara', 'Mo Funny, Mo Laughs' and 'A Good Man is Hard to Find'.
Leslie Small's 'Holiday Rush' is now streaming on Netflix.