HOLIDATE is a dumb guilty-pleasure movie with two charming lead performances — Movie Review

Holidate is a Christmas-themed romantic comedy that has a poster and plot reminiscent of a Hallmark movie. It has a premise everyone has seen a million times before. It is trite in every way. It never subverts the genre and becomes something more than a cheesy rom-com. It is predictable. It is dumb at times. It has a ridiculous and stupid ending.

And yes, I enjoyed it.

The plot is simple enough. Sloane (Emma Roberts) hates holidays because she cannot stand the constant probing from her family that she needs to find a guy to date and marry, while Jackson (Luke Bracey) hates holidays because the women he dates often use them as an excuse to commit to a long-term relationship. After the two meet in a mall, they decide to be each other’s “holidates” — they pretend to be a couple on the holidays so they can avoid people’s questions and make the holidays less insufferable. But NO feelings should be involved whatsoever. As you can probably predict, this doesn’t last too long before the two start to fall for each other.

The plot couldn’t be more predictable and trite, yet somehow I found myself enjoying the hell out of this film. This may have something to do with the irresistible chemistry of the two lead stars, Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey. Not only do these two work well with each other, but their charisma is off the charts, so for the entire movie I was cheering for the two characters to get together and find happiness. The humor was also a major plus. Holidate is oddly self-aware, which is not something I expected going into a dumb Netflix rom-com. At times it genuinely made me laugh out loud because the characters were down-to-earth enough to create funny situations that never seemed too ridiculous to be true. Maybe my expectations are in the basement because of Hubie Halloween, but these two major factors charmed me and had me interested in the plot for the entire duration of the movie.

Obviously not everything about Holidate is great, but I’m not looking for Citizen Kane 2: Electric Boogaloo here and neither is anyone else who watches this movie. The humor sometimes doesn’t land (fart and poop jokes never do), the ending is a typical ridiculous rom-com ending, and the plot is so predictable that I knew what was going to happen by the end of the first five minutes. But honestly, who cares? This is a charming rom-com with two charismatic lead performances that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside — what more could be asked of a movie such as this? Maybe the Covid-19 pandemic has driven me insane and I should reevaluate my mental state, but I thought Holidate was a fun Netflix film that will please fans of rom-coms or holiday movies everywhere. This is a guilty pleasure movie if I’ve ever seen one.

I give Holidate a B-.

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