Distributed By: Netflix
Release Date: October 28th 2020
Running Time: 103 minutes
What’s the film about?: Two young single people agree to be each other’s ‘holidates’ after a disastrous Christmas. Meaning they attend the special holidays and public holidays as platonic friends- in order to avoid commitment and pity from family members. This is a romantic comedy, so obviously the inevitable happens, and these two people fall in love.
Starring: Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, Kristin Chenoweth, Andrew Bachelor, Manish Dayal, Jessica Capshaw, Frances Fisher
Initial thoughts: It’s a fun, enjoyable movie, that one could say is their ‘guilty pleasure’. Emma and Luke have great onscreen chemistry- and this film also gives insight into how many holidays Americans take super seriously. It’s a great eye-opener into how different Christmases are in the U.S., and you can’t help but root for the main couple as the film carries on.
Reason to watch: It may be something to seemingly pass the time, but Holidate is charming, fun, silly, and light-hearted. It’s what we need after the year that we’ve had. As the film also raises up the importance of family and being together for the holidays, we are reminded of the hopefulness that we all can still have- despite hardship, family will still by us no matter what.
Reason to skip: If you vehemently detest romantic comedies- this film is a romantic comedy first and a holiday film second.
Does it have heart?: Very much so. Luke is great as the ever-optimistic Chris Hemsworth lookalike, while Emma’s snarkiness adds a depth to her character. But underlying the tension and the drama is a film with love and emotions and feelings at the centre- the family is devoted to each other and that’s what we long to see especially this year!
Does it have a Christmas-y atmosphere?: Though billed as a Christmas film, the Christmas-y atmosphere is at the beginning and at the end (first 5 minutes and last 5 minutes!) and not in between. Still Holidate reminds us of the importance of holidays, of which Christmas is I believe the most important holiday of all!
Uniqueness?: As far as romantic comedies and Christmas movies go, it’s not unique at all. But the lack of originality is offset by the brilliant performances of both Emma and Luke in their possibly career defining roles!
Scene Stealer: Has to be Kristin Chenoweth, as the flirty, carefree aunt of Emma’s character who takes the word ‘holidate’ to the next level. In every scene she is in, it’s always over the top, always cringy, but also in a ‘can’t look away’ kind of way. Truthfully, her performance should make this movie unbearable, but it actually has the opposite effect- enhancing the movie by creating a larger than life character with no filter at all!
Christmas message: Not much besides the ‘family’ aspect- but given that this isn’t meant to be a film about Jesus and His birth… no harm, no foul, right?
Closing thoughts: Holidate is a great watch this Christmas season. The storyline isn’t memorable, but the performances of Emma and Luke will forever be etched in my heart, and maybe your hearts too!
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Yes/no; why/why not?: If you want to watch a Christmas movie with lots of meaning, about life, about Jesus, about why we are here on this planet… then Holidate isn’t the movie for you. However if you want a quiet night in on Netflix and are wanting to escape for an hour and a half, then a breezy, fun movie about family and relationships will definitely be your cup of tea. So in short… yes. I enjoyed it, maybe you will too!