‘Holidate’ dazzles with fun and a dash of realism

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features and A&E Editor

⅘ Globes

Streaming service: Netflix

Run time: 1 hour 44 min

Genre: unconventional holiday romantic comedy


Like it or not, it’s that Hallmark holiday movie time of year, but thankfully with Netflix’s new holiday movie, “Holidate,” there’s no need to settle for another cheesy rom-com.

Netflix’s new original movie features Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) who are both fed up with going through the holidays and having to deal with dreadful dating during that time. For Jackson, he doesn’t want to have to go through another holiday pretending to be someone he’s not. For Sloane, she’s sick of her family being attached to the fact that she’s always alone on holidays after her last breakup.

After meeting randomly at the mall, these two strangers decide to be each other’s holidate. A holidate is no strings attached—they are each other’s date to holiday parties but other than that they don’t speak and carry on with their normal lives.

It’s definitely different from the usual romantic holiday plot lines, but it’s the perfect break from having to sit through the same story over and over again. Instead of girl meets boy, they fall in love, something tears them apart, and they end up back together by fate, this movie has real twists and turns and tells a realistic story of two people trying to figure out what they want.

Possibly one of the best things about the movie is it isn’t a Christmas movie. While Christmas time is where it kicks off, it follows the two through every holiday throughout the year rather than focusing just on Christmas. It adds an entirely new depth to the classic Christmas rom-com.

This isn’t a conventional, slight giggle, comedy either. The comedy in this movie is hilarious, the jokes are definitely not meant for young audiences and it lends the movie to be all the greater. It’s finally a rom-com that’s more on the realistic side, showing the true side of life that won’t be seen in a Hallmark movie.

Not only does the film showcase Roberts and Bracey but it also has standout stars like Kristin Chenoweth and Frances Fisher. The cast has great chemistry throughout the entire movie, and their characters seem like everyday people. The characters aren’t these perfect humans, and the guy lead isn’t the downfall of the romance. It’s a fresh take for a romantic movie.

There still are some cheesy parts to the movie, but it’s hard to make a rom-com without cringing a little. Overall though, the plot line is pretty solid. It keeps the main romantic plot line moving throughout while still keeping the comedy a main focus and giving lesser characters their own spotlight moments.

This film is a great way to kick off the holiday season. It has a Christmastime atmosphere in parts of the movie to bring in those winter chills but still explores the nature of the leads’ relationship outside of just Christmas. Plus, the film doesn’t ignore Thanksgiving, so there’s no need to skip right to Christmas this year!

It truly features an amazing cast with a good storyline that doesn’t leave the viewer turning off the movie within 10 minutes because of all of the gushiness. Instead of sugarcoating the fairytale romance around the holidays, it shows the straight cut truth of what it’s like to be single or struggling with relationships. It’s a great watch for with friends or to just watch alone curled up next to a candle when looking for a film to lift any sad feelings away.