While Sloane (Emma Roberts) is forced to endure yet another family Christmas celebration marked by all her relatives asking why she's single, not too far away Jackson (Luke Bracey) is on the date from hell (it's a toss-up but yeah, his is worse). They end up meeting in a department store returning gifts and soon strike up a camaraderie over their single status. Agreeing to be one another's "holidates" for New Year's Eve, they continue the tradition for every festive occasion throughout the next year. But they start to realise the fun times they've shared together might mean more than friendship...
Netflix has a whole bunch of Christmas movies coming your way next month. 'Holidate' arrives before Halloween has even ended. You've got some familiar faces in the cast between Emma Roberts, 'Home and Away's Luke Bracey, 'Grey's Anatomy' graduate Jessica Chapsaw, Kristen Chenoweth and Frances Fisher. But can you call what they're playing characters when they're ultimately just types? Particularly grating is Roberts' Sloane, a short-tempered, easily frazzled cynic who's "afraid of love". Chenoweth is a bit of craic as the bonkers aunt with a new partner for every holiday. But really, there's no one you particularly root for.
The opening shot sees Sloane smoking and looking peeved as she says "F***ing holidays". That's not the only F-bomb in the film either as later her brother's conservative fiancée is made say it, while Sloane's nice tells her she "f***ed up". Apparently the F-word is hilarious to Americans; as is kids saying the darndest things, one later asking what a "whore" is. Add to the non-funniness a bunch of cheap sexual innuendoes, the worst scene of which takes place in a car, and you've got an uninspired, somewhat painful watch.
You've also got every possible cliché of the romantic comedy thrown into the film. There's the meet cute (she tells him to hurry up in the queue of the department store, then makes fun of his Australian accent), after which they just can't seem to stop running into each other. There's the recreation of a famous movie scene (in this case the 'Dirty Dancing' lift); an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction; pooing (yes, even in a movie apparently for adults, toilet humour is an important feature); and proclamations of love in inappropriate settings.
For crying out loud, there’s even a "making the other person jealous as she/he dances with someone else" scene. And though they finally seem to have made it with 30 mins to go, there’s inevitably just one more crisis. In case you didn't get it from the movie title, someone actually says "I thought I wanted a holidate, but I wanted you."
It's by no means the worst rom com out there, but it is clichéd, predictable and dull. And yes, unfortunately, since all your typical annual festivities are covered, there is an embarrassing drunken St Patrick's Day scene.
'Holidate' is streaming on Netflix now.