Wednesday 4 November 2020

Holidate (Movie Review)

Now that spooky season is behind us, we can start looking ahead to the next major holiday down the conveyor belt of seasonal content. I am of course referring to Christmas, that time of year that has become synonymous with carol singers and snowball fights. And Netflix is once again the first studio to jump into the fray, with the release of its holiday-themed romantic comedy, Holidate. 

The film follows a pair of singletons, Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey), who just can't seem to catch a break in their individual love lives. Sloane is just coming off a difficult breakup with a long-time boyfriend, and must now endure the many questions and concerns of her family members during the Christmas holidays. Jackson on the other hand barely manages to escape the clutches of an over-possessive girlfriend and her equally disturbing parents.

But following a chance meeting between the two of them at a shopping mall, they both come to acknowledge their mutual need for a commitment-free relationship with a partner that would help them get through the formalities of holidays. And thus begins an unusual friendship that is forged around the concept of "non-sexual holidates." Except the whole thing gets threatened after they start to develop feeling for one another.

I went into Holidate expecting a typical, run-of-the-mill romantic comedy with a holiday theme, and that was precisely what I had gotten. What I didn't expect was just how hard it was going to try to subvert the genre's tropes, employing an approach that I found a little too on the nose. The gags were also hit or miss, depending on your tolerance for toilet humor, a la the far superior 2011 comedy, Bridesmaids.

But this was still a romantic comedy at the end of the day, and those normally live off of the strength of the chemistry between their two leads. This is one area where Holidate excels, as it was never difficult to buy into the blossoming relationship between Sloane and Jackson. And despite trying to poke fun at the well-known conventions of the genre, the film still slots neatly under the rom-com designation, for better or worse.

Holidate is an enjoyable but ultimately forgettable film that should please fans of romantic comedies. And while I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, it should still serve as an adequate distraction on a slow day with nothing better to do or watch.


  1. Sounds like one we'll watch at some point. Been a while since we've had a truly great romantic comedy on the level of When Harry Met Sally though.

    1. That's one of the classics. The last one I truly loved was Palm Springs. And then there was Silver Linings Playbook before that.