HOLIDATE (NETFLIX) (2020)
SYNOPSIS: Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) hate the holidays. They constantly find themselves single, sitting at the kids table, or stuck with awkward dates. But when these two strangers meet during one particularly bad Christmas, they make a pact to be each other’s “holidate” for every festive occasion throughout the next year. With a mutual disdain for the holidays, and assuring themselves that they have no romantic interest in the other, they become each other's perfect plus-one which leads to some hilarious and provocative hijinks. However, as a year of absurd celebrations come to an end, Sloane and Jackson find that sharing everything they hate may just prove to be something they unexpectedly love.
I guess I can vaguely recall a mention of hand-job and a joke about clitoris. Anything else is just cliché and rom- com magic. That kind of magic dust that sprinkled on a couple who bickers a lot but ended up together after a prolonged speech at a mall kind.
Emma Roberts (America Horror Story), niece of Julia stars as Sloane, a singleton who can’t seem to move on after her dashing ex ditched her for a much younger girl. To pacify her mom and siblings during the holidays, Sloan decides to hook up with a guy, Jackson for what she termed as holidate. If you closed your eyes, you will assume Jackson is played by Chris Hemsworth. Open your eyes and you will realised fellow Australian Luke Bracey (Hacksaw Ridge) does resemblances Hemsworth. Fortunately, Bracey has lots of sizzling chemistry with Roberts which makes the rom-com way easier on the eyes.
Holidate aspires to be more than an average rom-com but the novelty quickly fade away after the nth holiday get together and repetitive squabble. This is especially obvious with Roberts’ character making fun of every rom-com cliché out there and in less than a minute, she is shown doing the exact of what she said. Does it makes the movie any smarter or wittier? We really doubt so.
The fact that it is painfully unfunny is hard to swallow consider it comes from a female screenwriter Tiffany Paulsen. And you probably thought it works better from a woman’s perspective when the movie has a heartfelt message about stop being in denial, start believing in yourself and move on. The overall plot in other words is problematic and ironic when the audiences end up rooting for the poor guy in the end.
Doing their best to liven up the movie are the set decorators, carpenters and art department since producer McG (Charlie’s Angels) must have make sure everything has to look great onscreen. It’s actually quite a festive movie with plenty of lush pretty set decorations that goes into it. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, you name it, Holidate has it.
Hollywood romantic comedies have been steadily on the decline for years. Nowadays, there’s hardly one that matches the 90’s classics liked Sleepless in Seattle and of course, Julia Robert’s Pretty Woman. There’s not even a catchy soundtrack to accompany the title to be brutally honest. Holidate by far is yet another half-baked raunchy, glossy looking, extremely uninspired rom-com of the day.
Review by Linus Tee