Holidate Movie Review
Devesh Sharma, October 30, 2020
Times Of India’s Rating
avg. users’ rating
Date dazeThe first thing you notice about Holidate is people moving en masse around in malls, in restaurants, around pools, generally having a good time without masks on. People enjoying holidays with their loved ones without a care in the world. You instantly feel nostalgic for a world where such things were possible without the constant danger of getting infected by the dreaded coronavirus. The central theme of the film revolves around two young, good looking people not finding a date for holidays — hence Holidate. Given the reality of today, you don’t feel sympathetic at all for their predicament. You want to bang their heads together and warn them of the near-future scenario where relationships would come under different kinds of strains. Real-world issues apart, we have seen this particular conceit in numerous movies before. Two people pretending to be a couple in order to satisfy their families — here it’s just the girl’s family in particular — has been a Hollywood staple since ages. So you can spot the twists from a mile. The pair will live in denial about their attraction for a while before invariably falling in lust. There’s nothing new here. The only real twist is that they meet during Christmas and agree to be each other’s dates for the rest of the holidays in the coming year and have no connection to each other on other days. That comes across as slightly weird, alright.Sloane (Emma Roberts) meets handsome Australian guy Jackson (Luke Bracey) at a mall while exchanging her Christmas gifts. They soon get talking and agree to become each others’ non-sexual dates for the New Year and later, for the rest of the holiday calendar. They end up having misadventures — she swallows too many laxatives and has to be rushed home to a loo, he gets one of his fingers chopped off. These and other sundry gags have been used in the film to elicit laughter. The film also uses lots of profanity and puts inappropriate words in the mouths of children to get you laughing. All that’s missing is canned laughter in the background. Since in the beginning, they have sort of made a pact of not sleeping together. Hence, both are afraid to take the relationship further, even when they feel a connection of sorts. They don’t want to confess their true feelings to each other. Whether they succumb to attraction and become partners in the true sense forms the crux of the film.Holidate is made up of a supporting cast whose only one aim in life is to get Sloane hitched. Her mother, her sister, her aunt, and even her brother want her to get married and have children. We don’t really get to know why this attractive young woman is actually single. She’s commitment-phobic in the extreme but it’s not made clear as to why. It’s also not made clear why Jackson is single either. He isn’t even shown to be a skirt chaser and comes across as a pretty decent guy. But we don’t get to know his backstory.The film tries too hard to be a parody of romantic comedies. Maybe that was the general idea initially but the director seemingly lost touch with it as the film progressed. It starts taking itself too seriously and that’s its undoing. The only saving grace of this silly charade is the chemistry between the lead couple. Both Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey deserve a better romance than this to showcase how good they can be together. They try hard to keep the proceedings going but the shallow story and screenplay really hinder their efforts.Summing up, Holidate may just remind you how good your boring everyday life was before the pandemic and make you nostalgic about family reunions, roaming in malls, earring out and wearing masks only during costume parties. Other than that, this rom-com is strictly for those diehard fans of the genre who don’t want to give any such release a miss.
Trailer : Holidate
Sreeparna Sengupta, October 28, 2020, 11:54 PM IST
STORY: Pestered by her family, on almost every holiday to find a man for herself, Sloane decides to get herself a ‘Holidate’ to get them off her back. She teams up with Jackson and they become each other’s no strings attached dates – only for the big holidays. REVIEW:‘Holidate’ manages to pack in almost every cliche in the rom-com movies handbook. Sloane (Emma Roberts), a young, independent woman living in Chicago has to put up with her family’s constant badgering during every holiday season because she is single. On her Christmas visit, they try it all – from insisting on setting her up with someone to telling her the dos and don’ts of what men want (‘No man wants to marry a woman who smokes.’). So when Sloane’s aunt Susan (Kristen Chenoweth) throws at her the idea of a “holidate” – a date or companion only to attend holiday brunches, dinners and parties with, she is intrigued. In a parallel story track, Jackson (Luke Bracey) has a terrible Christmas with an obsessive date and her family. Soon enough Jackson and Sloane have their meet-cute at a mall, while queueing up to exchange their Christmas gifts. They end up exchanging notes on how each one has had a terrible Christmas and Sloane shares Aunt Susan’s way of having a “holidate” to keep off the awkward questions and sad glances. Jackson thinks it’s a great idea, since it takes the pressure away from actually dating to not be alone in the holidays and mostly because according to him women get clingy in the holiday season! He offers to be Sloane’s “holidate” since it will serve both their purposes. She declines as they’ve just met, but eventually Sloane and Jackson are each other’s “holidates”. With no strings attached and sex is kept off the table. The rest of the film is predictable enough as both Sloane and Jackson attend a few holiday dates together. So in between a few odd raunchy moments here and there, a mad rush to the hospital after a finger that gets blown off with the 4th of July fireworks, an almost ‘shit in the pants’ situation on Halloween, the two realise they are attracted to each other but not sure what the other one feels. Well, it’s just like Sloan’s sister Abby (Jessica Capshaw) puts it to her, “You like him, he likes you, these are not real problems.” With a formulaic screenplay, ‘Holidate’ makes for a sluggish watch. On the upside, Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey share a cute chemistry and both are adequately good in their roles. Although that alone isn’t enough to make ‘Holidate’ a holiday treat to crave for.