Christmas Inheritance (2017)

Christmas Inheritance
Director: Ernie Barbarash
Writer: Dinah Eng
Cast: Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy, Andie MacDowell, Neil Crone, Michael Xavier, Lori Hallier, Mag Ruffman, Bill Lake, Anthony Sherwood, Martin Roach, Lindsay Leese
Seen on: 27.12.2019

Ellen (Eliza Taylor) is set to inherit her father’s (Neil Crone) company and wealth. But she doesn’t really understand what that means and after one too many embarrassing moments in public, her father intervenes and sends her to the small town his company originated in to deliver a letter to his friend and business partner. But there are some conditions for her to complete the task: she can tell nobody who she really is and can only use the 100 dollars in cash that he gives her. Ellen is ready to prove herself to her father, but this might be easier said than done, especially when a snow storm hits. Thankfully, the people in town are very helpful – especially Jake (Jake Lacy).

Christmas Inheritance was a little bit too much for me, even halfway through a Christmas movie binge. Everybody is so good here and the plot is so very contrived, it was hard to take.

The film poster showing Eliza Taylor in front of a snowy landscape.
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Christmas in the Wild (2019)

Christmas in the Wild (aka Holiday in the Wild)
Director: Ernie Barbarash
Writer: Neal H. Dobrofsky, Tippi Dobrofsky
Cast: Rob Lowe, Kristin Davis, Fezile Mpela, John Owen Lowe, Colin Moss, Thandi Puren, Hayley Owen, Lynita Crofford, Waldemar Schultz, Tapiwa Musvosvi
Seen on: 10.11.2019

Content Note: racism/exoticism

Kate (Kristin Davis) used to be a vet, but then she gave it all up for her husband and her kid. Now their son is grown and Kate is looking forward to the first real holiday in many years, a safari in South Africa. But just before they are supposed to leave, her husband leaves Kate instead. Kate decides to go to South Africa by herself. There in the elephant sanctuary, she starts to find a new sense of identity apart from her family. And she finds the grumpy pilot Derek (Rob Lowe) who runs the sanctuary.

Christmas in the Wild was re-named Holiday in the Wild (or vice versa). In any case, Holiday is definitely the better title. The film does feature Christmas, but it isn’t a Christmas romance. Whether Christmas or not, it’s a sweet film for white people, especially in the (racist) way it uses Africa as an exotic backdrop for a white story.

The film poster showing two images - Derek (Rob Lowe) and Kate (Kristin Davis) standing next to each other and Kate stroking an elephant.
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