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Holiday Rush

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Holiday Rush Movie Poster Image
Energetic family comedy lacks depth; mild language.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 93 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Stresses importance of family, holiday spirit, and generosity. "It's not what you got, it's what you got around you."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Single parent is loving, committed to his kids, loyal, honest, and hardworking, but has allowed his kids to become materialistic and selfish. Circumstances help him teach his kids value of family, working together, and simple pleasures. Villains are greedy corporate types. Females are assertive, competent, and independent.

Violence

A scuffle between two men. No injuries.

Sex

Kisses. Mild sexual innuendo when a female executive tries to entice a male employee.

Language

An occasional expletive: "damn," "hell," "butt," "ass," "crap." A mention of "poop."

Consumerism

U-Haul, Thigh-Master, Pepsi-Cola.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A couple drinks wine. Two people briefly share an adult beverage; the female appears to be tipsy.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Holiday Rush is a comedy in which economic setbacks upend the affluent lifestyle of a widowed New York D.J. and his spoiled kids just before the holiday. What the Williams family first sees as a disaster may be just what they need to find the "true meaning of Christmas." There's some sadness in the film as family members recall their deceased wife/mom. Viewers can expect occasional mild swearing, including "damn," "hell," "crap," "ass." Two men scuffle; neither is hurt. A couple drinks wine; in one scene a woman, who appears to be tipsy, has a drink with a subordinate and is seductive. 

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What's the story?

Popular radio D.J. Rush Williams (Romany Malco) is shattered when his show is canceled just before Christmas in HOLIDAY RUSH. A corporate giant has purchased the local station which airs it; Rush and his producing partner Roxy Richardson (Sonequa Martin-Green) are out. Rush's motherless four kids, who have been living an affluent life and are beyond spoiled, are crushed. It's up to Rush and Roxy to best the corporate giant, and Rush, with caretaker Auntie Jo (Darlene Love) and Roxy at his side, to see the kids through to a Christmas with new meaning and joy.

Is it any good?

In spite of its conventional Christmas message, uneven performances, and a routine story about one-upping farcical corporate greed, this comedy offers some heartwarming moments. The premise is thin -- giving up a cold mansion filled with goodies to move to a lovely middle-class home with "only a six-foot Christmas tree" wouldn't be a tragedy for most. And a last-minute emotional reveal is a convenience at best. Still, there are few African American family movies and Holiday Rush should appeal to all ethnicities, so it will find an audience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the music in Holiday Rush. How does our familiarity with carols and songs enrich our experience of a movie? Think about how you feel when you hear the sounds of Christmas.

  • There are several instances in which we hear: "It's not what you got, it's what you got around you." What does this mean? How does the movie demonstrate its message?

  • How do the filmmakers use the character of Auntie Jo to represent the "true meaning of Christmas" in this story? 

  • Corporations and greedy executives are often portrayed as movie villains. Why are they easy targets? Do you think people have a natural resentment toward people with power and/or money? Why?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love the holidays

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