One of the best things (in my opinion) about this time of year, alongside the hot summer nights and long lunches, is the explosion of eye-rollingly cheesy new Christmas movies onto the scene.
Holidate is one of Netflix’s many latest Christmas releases that has caught the eye, as it contains all the trademark qualities of two cynical adults who despite urging to stay platonic, ultimately wind up together (not a spoiler alert – as if you didn’t see this coming).
Emma Roberts plays Sloane, a snarky Chicago resident in her late 20s who recently split with her boyfriend and is tired of being looked down on for being single. Side note: ever since I saw Emma Roberts as the sociopathic Chanel in Scream Queens, I genuinely can’t picture her as anyone else. So bear in mind, my judgement was already a little clouded in how she could portray the stereotypical rom com leading lady.
Sloane has an accidental run-in with Australian golfer Jackson (Luke Bracey) and they soon swap stories on their tragic personal lives and try to outdo each other in who had the worst Christmas. The questionable dynamic of being each other’s ‘holidate’ for the foreseeable future then launches the two into a year-long relationship of partnering up only for holidays – apparently Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick’s Day are unbearable as a single person despite their conventional stigma as major party events.
Although the pair share some decent chemistry and banter, the dialogue in the film is pretty stock standard and the lack of care and depth put into the character development is not surprising considering the directionless script. Sloane’s grim and sarcastic outlook contrasts nicely with the typical Aussie blasé attitude from Jackson, however the overarching message that ‘being single is sad’ is more off-putting than uplifting.
If anything, Holidate is an adequate background movie if you’ve got nothing else to do in that awkward period between Christmas and New Years, but don’t expect to be charmed over with any intelligible revelations. Surprisingly, this does just make you realise that it’s actually a lot harder to deliver a good romantic comedy than expected. Kudos to the likes of Love Actually and When Harry Met Sally, I underestimated you.