While obeying the State of Arizona’s order to stay at home throughout the month of April, I became so sick and tired of watching whatever was on TV that I began to watch many of the DVDs I never watched in my DVD collection. I was always too busy to watch them, but now I can work or do whatever I desire while watching them.
Around Valentine’s Day, I purchased some Hallmark Channel videos at Walmart. One of the was Love on Safari. Out of all the DVDs I purchased at that time, I was the most excited to watch Love on Safari. In February, I was able to watch it, enjoyed it, and set it aside to watch all the others. Since I’m at home watching my DVDs, I decided to start by rewatching Love on Safari.
Disclaimer: This review does contain spoilers for the movie. So if you don’t want to know about the movie before you watch, then please stop reading now.
The story is about Kira, a web designer from Chicago who lives her life safely. She doesn’t travel often and when she does, it’s somewhere that’s boring. Right before her vacation to Scottsdale, Arizona, she was informed her uncle passed away and she will need to be present for the reading of the will. The problem is her uncle lived in Africa and she would need to go to his wildlife park to be present for the reading of the will. After traveling to Africa and meeting the staff that works at the wildlife part including the handsome , she discovered she inherited the wildlife park, which is struggling to attract visitors and is wanted by the owner of a luxury hotel chain who wants to turn it into a development of luxury hotels. Through out the movie, she learns about the wildlife park, the park ranger, her boyfriend from Chicago who wants her to go back to Chicago to marry her, and how adventurous she, and her life, truly is.
Although Hallmark movies are known for being fairy tale like and not very realistic, Love on Safari is different. There is suspense in if she will sell the wildlife park or not and will she stay with her boyfriend from Chicago or leave him for the park ranger. The main character has character growth as she is pushed to make decisions that will affect the rest of her life and the legacy of her uncle’s wildlife park, making her not be as one dimensional as characters from romance movies like this one can be. The park ranger isn’t one dimensional either nor is her boyfriend from Chicago. They have deeper motives to their actions and the viewer can tell even though they are not told what they are.
Of course, this movie, like movies like it, is not for everyone. The story is fast paced (the movie is 1 hour 24 minutes) and it’s not focused so much on giving many of the characters but Kira and other main characters a backstory or insight into the motivation behind their actions. It does skip over parts of the story in order to make the movie more family friendly, something Hallmark is known for.
I personally didn’t mind Hallmark skipping over the potentially darker parts of the story, specifically dealing with Kira’s boyfriend. There is something motivating him to push her to sell the wildlife reserve and return to Chicago with the intention of marrying him. Hallmark does not go into their relationship, but, depending on how you view his actions throughout the movie, he may be more controlling that initially revealed to be and his actions could be read as someone trying to use her to gain something, probably money from the sale of the wildlife reserve. This theory can be backed up by his attempt to sell the wildlife reserve to the hotel chain without out her permission or the proper legal authority to do so.
Overall, I really liked this movie. It has a more complicated plot than other Hallmark Channel movies I’ve watched over the years, but it is presented in a way that is easy to follow and, of course, true love wins in the end. The characters are likeable and the footage of Africa used in the movie is beautiful. I highly recommend this movie.