You may not be blessed with the memory of an elephant, but those majestic creatures will make this a Christmas you’ll never forget.
Netflix will begin to roll out its yuletide programming in the next few weeks, and EW’s got your first look at Holiday in the Wild (available to stream Nov. 1), an unconventional romantic comedy starring Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe, right here.
Davis, who also produced the film, stars as Kate, a devoted New York wife whose workaholic husband leaves her right before their planned second honeymoon in Zambia. Kate goes on the trip alone, where she first clashes, then connects with her safari pilot Derek (Lowe) after he takes her on a detour to rescue an orphaned baby elephant. At the wildlife sanctuary where they nurse him back to health, Kate finds a new purpose in life — and a new person to share it with.
Holiday in the Wild marks a reunion for Davis and Lowe, two decades after they starred together in the 1999 miniseries Atomic Train. “Has it been 20 years?!” Davis exclaims. “Oh my god! I don’t know, because he’s the same! I can’t tell!”
The idea for the film originated with Davis, a passionate wildlife activist who has been deeply involved in elephant conservation efforts ever since, on a 2009 trip to Kenya, she helped rescue an orphaned elephant — much like her new Netflix alter ego. “My own story is not a romantic comedy, per se,” the actress tells EW. “It’s just me falling in love with elephants and learning about the poaching crisis and trying to help.”
Translating her own story into the sweetest genre of them all, however, might be the perfect platform to inspire others to feel the same. “There’s a bunch of people who watch documentaries and watch Nat Geo and they’re into it. And then there’s a bunch of other people who might not be exposed to the information necessarily, because they might not be tuning into documentaries,” says Davis, who also produced the 2014 poaching crisis doc Gardeners of Eden (which, she happily notes, will soon return to Netflix). “So the idea was to make a romantic comedy, where you might be attracting a different group of people but yet have the real situation be the backdrop, without it being too scary or too harsh.”
The production took the elephant crisis seriously, but with Davis and Lowe and the surplus of charm between them, Holiday in the Wild still has all the sparkle of a rom-com. “We wanted to make it fun and we wanted to make it Christmassy and romantic,” Davis says. “And to me, elephants — nothing’s cuter than elephants!”
Holiday in the Wild will be available to stream on Netflix Nov. 1. Check back Wednesday for the exclusive trailer reveal, right here at EW.