Holidate is uncomfortably cheesy, even for the holidays

Anushka Patil, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Holidate fails to capture the essence of the holidays. (provided by Netflix)

For many, the holidays are the best time of the year. The lights, atmosphere, food, gatherings, and spirit definitely add to the reasons why the holidays truly rock. Using these qualities of the holidays, movies bring families together, creating a sense of warmth and pleasure that illuminate this time of the year. Released on Netflix on October 28, Holidate possesses the essential qualities of a soapy, mediocre holiday film. However, more often than not, Holidate fails to perfectly capture the romantic comedy vibes that represent the holidays.

Directed by John Whitesell and set in present-day Chicago, the film centers around the characters Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey), who find themselves especially lonely during the holidays. The pair decide to team up and be each other’s plus-ones at holiday events for the entire year. As one can expect, the two start off platonic, fed up with serious commitment and familial expectations, but end up catching real feelings for each other through the course of their arrangement.

Right off the bat, the movie starts with inappropriate jokes, making the film R-rated. Throughout the movie, it almost seems like the producers and screenwriters tried hard to include the jokes because of their crudeness rather than their humor. I found myself cringing hard and turning away many times due to the vulgarity of certain scenes in the film.

Holidate was also particularly difficult to watch because of the repetitiveness of the plot. Usually, I give holiday movies an exception when it comes to unique, thrilling storylines, since the holiday season, to me, should be filled with light-hearted energy. Yet, with the quality of the punchlines in mind, the plot is excruciatingly dragging.

From the beginning, I knew how Holidate was going to end, however, I kept watching because I expected the pace of the film to be delightful enough for me to ignore the mediocre plot. But, to my dismay, the pace was dull as the chemistry between Sloane and Jackson was below-average.

Another fault in the movie that is worth mentioning is the fact that the events that Sloane and Jackson attend are events that do not necessarily require couples, meaning a single person could very well attend the event without feeling unusual. From bars to Cinco de Mayo celebrations, the film almost seems like it is forcing an unnecessary romantic tension between Sloane and Jackson. I understand wanting a fake boyfriend around a judgemental family, but I truly do not understand the need to have a platonic stranger accompany you to unnecessary events. The set up is just plain awkward!

With irritating side characters along with shallow main characters, the audience is unable to connect with any of the people presented in Holidate.

When it comes to holiday movies, whether it be Elf or Last Christmas, the best part is forming a connection between the love-hungry characters or witty side characters. So, this movie greatly disappointed me in that major aspect.

I honestly can not find anything extraordinary, or even slightly above average, about this movie.

All in all, I suggest saving yourself from losing an hour and forty minutes of your life. Although I believe the concept of the film is interesting, the execution failed terribly. Instead of watching Holidate, which barely makes a step in the right direction when it comes to holiday romantic comedies, I suggest you watch films like Love Actually and Four Christmases, where you can actually feel the warmth of the holidays radiate off your screen.