Holiday Rush – Credit: Anna Kooris
Holiday Rush is a family-friendly Christmas movie on Netflix with a great cast and lots of laughs. It also hit some heavy themes, so keep kleenex handy.
December is here so that means it’s time to get into the spirit of the holidays. Netflix is always providing new content for the holiday season and this year is no different. The latest Christmas movie released at Netflix was Holiday Rush which is led by Romany Malco (Weeds, The 40-year-old Virgin) as a New York radio host who loses his job just before Christmas.
The cast also features Sonequa Martin-Green (Star Trek, The Walking Dead), La La Anthony (Power), Deon Cole (black-ish), and Tamala Jones (Castle, Blue Streak). It’s a very recognizable cast which is one thing Holiday Rush has going for it. Is it worth your time though?
Holiday Rush follows Rashon “Rush” Williams (Malco), an early morning DJ for a New York radio station. His show, “Morning Rush,” has vaulted to the top of the charts and he loves what he does. His producer, Roxy (Martin-Green), is always by his side keeping him on track. Whether it’s picking him up in the morning to make sure he’s on time or reminding him to stick to the pre-approved playlist, she’s always there to make sure the operation runs smoothly. The two make a great team and they’ve clearly been working together for a long time.
However, after the station is bought by a national network, “Morning Rush” is about to be rushed off of the airwaves. Rashon has used his success to surround himself and his kids with luxuries that he will no longer be able to afford. We learn that he’s a single father whose wife passed away years ago and he’s used these luxuries to try to fill the void in his kids’ lives. The side effect of that being that his kids are now incredibly spoiled.
With their lives sure to change, Rush and his family have to finally face some of the things they’ve been ignoring. Roxy isn’t shaken though as she plans their next move, to take their show the independent route by buying the station that gave them their start. It’s going to require a little faith in themselves, and a lot of hard work, to build that station back up. Their special relationship is on the verge of becoming a little more special as well, judging from the trailer.
The story itself is solid, but it’s really the cast that makes Holiday Rush a fun entry into the Christmas movie canon.
Malco has many great one-liners throughout the movie, many of which felt like they could have been improvised. Martin-Green’s character has an amazing spirit that keeps the mood from ever getting too dark. She seems to always have an answer and when she doesn’t, she has a plan. It was great to see Sonequa in this type of role after last seeing her in a more intense role on The Walking Dead.
Among the supporting cast Deon Cole, who plays Rush and Roxy’s boss at the first radio station, stole the show. Much like his character on black-ish, Marshall Stone is the type of guy who says what’s on his mind even when he shouldn’t.
From the trailer, you watch him talk about how everyone is going to feel the pain of the changes coming to the station except for him because he’s cashing in. Not something you’d usually say to someone as you’re firing them, but it makes for great comedy.
Aunt Jo, played by Darlene Love (legendary backup singer and Grammy winner for the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom) is another fun character who is the only one willing to keep it real with the incredibly spoiled kids.
Holiday Rush has a lot of great humor but also hits on some heavy topics.
Between Rush losing his job, having lost his wife to cancer, and having to move his kids back into the home where she last lived, there were a lot of very real moments. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get emotional a few times watching this movie.
Many people I’ve seen commenting on the film did not like the kids but they were reacting to the way they were raised. He spoiled them and when they lost all of their fancy things they began acting out and not adjusting well. That changes over the course of the film and the message there is about how we take the little things for granted.
The story is perfect for this holiday season and the message is one that should resonate with many.
Holiday Rush is currently streaming on Netflix.