If you’re above, say 25 and single, you have most likely been at the receiving end of endless taunts and jibes by relatives and married friends over your relationship status. Turns out this problem is universal and exactly what Netflix’s latest rom-com Holidate is about.
Holidate follows two strangers Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey), who meet at a department store after Christmas and before New Year’s Eve and exchange their Christmas horror stories, which stem from them being single. When they realise that they both pretty much have the same problem, they decide that they’ve had enough of dating strangers or being single on holidays, and plan to become each other’s ‘holidates’ – meaning they will be each other’s dates on every holiday for as long as they’re both single. Their relationship is strictly platonic and comes a set of rules and no strings attached. The movie then takes us through the following year, with stops on New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and then we’re back at Christmas. All holidays are fun and games and the two have a great time together, ignoring the sparks that fly between them. But at the end of the day, the film is a rom-com, and over the course of their ‘dates’, the two end up falling in love.
While the first half of the movie was brilliantly done and thoroughly enjoyable, the last 20 minutes were clichéd and borderline cringe. The film’s ending was dramatic and overdone and I wish it would have been as romantic and low-key as Sloane and Jackson’s relationship was. I was really hoping the final scene to be a re-enactment of the Dirty Dancing scene – after all, nobody puts “Baby in the corner”.
Emma and Bracey’s chemistry was crackling. You could feel it beyond the screen. The two complemented each other beautifully and were one of the main reasons why the film was such a good watch. And sigh, Jackson was so dreamy.
The reason why Holidate is so relatable is because, throughout the film, Sloane’s mother had one goal – to get her daughter ‘settled’ (read – married). She would constantly pester her daughter suggesting her boys to date. Things take a turn for the worse when Sloane’s younger brother gets married, putting more pressure on her. We’ve all been in situations when friends, relatives and even random aunties on weddings have tried to set us up with someone. The obsession with coupling people is real and universal.
Nonetheless, everything aside, Holidate is a light, easy and fun watch. We can all do with a bit of mindless entertainment in these trying times.