On Oct, 28, Netflix released one of their first films of the holiday season, Holidate, written by Tiffany Paulsen and directed by John Whitesell. The cute and comical film is about two strangers, Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) who casually meet and agree to be each other’s dates only for holidays. Just like many other romantic comedies that have come before, Sloane and Jackson try hard to avoid catching feelings yet that only makes them fall harder for each other. The plot of the flick is similar to films such as Holiday in Handcuffs, Friends with Benefits, The Proposal and No Strings Attached.
Holidate begins on Christmas Eve when Sloane is stuck sitting at the kids table with her nieces and nephews after showing up to her mother’s Christmas dinner without a date. Jackson spends the holiday with a girl he just started seeing and her overly festive family. Sloane and Jackson then cross paths in the mall after the holiday when they both happen to be returning their Christmas presents to the same store.
Prior to watching the film, I assumed that it would take place over the course of the holiday season — meaning Thanksgiving to New Years — but instead the film took a different direction. The script included all the minor holidays as well — everything from Cinco de Mayo to St, Patrick’s Day and Labor Day.
Another thing that I liked about Holidate is that it did indeed have a successful mixture of comedy and romance. Oftentimes films like this struggle to find the right balance, but I felt that the movie did a great job at incorporating both. Plus, I thoroughly enjoyed the chemistry between Roberts and Bracey; they proved to have good on-screen chemistry both comedically and romantically making them the perfect pairing.
Along with them, the large group of side characters were also extremely funny and worked well together. First there is Sloane’s mom Elaine (Frances Fisher) who is overtly rude and critical towards her family. Then there is her Aunt Susan (Kristin Chenoweth), a free spirit who is always dating someone new (often younger) and her much older sister Abby (Jessica Capshaw), with four kids, an uptight husband and a midlife crisis. Finally, there is Jackson’s goofy best friend and fellow golf pro Neil (Andrew Bachelor) who is always giving out bad advice.
Holidate may not be the best film of the year, but it certainly had some good laughs and it was nice to see Emma Roberts play the lead. I recommend Holidate to anyone looking for a fun and lighthearted film to stream during the holiday season.
Holidate is available to stream on Netflix.
By Blair Krassen @blairlyawake