Starring Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, Kristin Chenoweth, Frances Fisher, Andrew Bachelor
Have you ever heard of a 'holidate'?
Fed up of being single during holidays, two strangers, Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey), agree to be eachother's platonic plus-ones all year long. But will feelings be caught along the way?
The film is not strictly a 'Christmas classic' for the history books, as other holidays such as Halloween and St Valentines Day are also present. But Christmas is a token part of the film and it still made me feel festive, so it's likely I'll watch it again if I'm in the mood for some movie cheese next Christmas.
The movie starts and ends at Christmas which gives it a festive feel, top and tailing the narrative with the joy of Christmas and a whirlwind of other holidays in between. Aside from the seasons, the narrative presents the classic 'will they won't they' debate which although common in romance films, didn't feel too forced and predictable. From their first meet in the mall just after Christmas, you can tell that their witty banter and connection is going to lead to something more, you almost want it to be more predictable so they can just get on with it.
Emma Roberts has yet again mastered the art of playing a sassy and moody, yet strong and independent woman like she has done in the likes of American Horror Story, Scream Queens and even as early as teen movie Wild Child. The characters played by Roberts are similar but not at all the same, which is something I love about her as an actress. She has an appeal and familiarity in her work that always draws me to watching more.
Some of the editing between holidays throughout the film has to be noted as the transitions were impressive. However, with the ongoing dialogue that continued conversations between different time periods did leave some of them with a less effective landing than others. Having the same conversations between holidays months apart didn't quite hit the mark to move the narrative along, but the transitions themselves from the clinking of glasses to shots at the bar worked quite well.
The comedic moments were funny and not too cringeworthy (that was saved for the romantic side of the story). One of the notable, funny moments for me was seeing Sloane stumble across her ex-boyfriend and his now pregnant fiancée at a Halloween party. Her reaction was comical without taking it too far and did create a few out loud giggles. Even the moments shortly after with the tight pirate corset and tummy issues sustained the humour and all in all lead to an entertaining Halloween segment of the narrative.
So, whilst both entertaining and slightly eye-roll worthy at times, I guess you could say that the film did tick the boxes for a feel-good festive story. With a refreshing conclusion not often seen in a romantic comedy, I'd recommend giving Holidate a watch if you're partial to a bit of holiday fun.
Holidate available now on Netflix