‘Holidate’ on Netflix: Plain unwatchable

Another bad recent release is John Whitesell’s ‘Holidate.’ Yes, it is about holidays and dates and many cliched moments you can guess and some ‘new’ ones that won’t amuse you one bit

‘Holidate’ on Netflix: Plain unwatchable
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Biswadeep Ghosh

Silliness sells. Had that not been the case, how could Netflix bombard the streaming space with a series of juvenile Adam Sandler comedies about which the only funny thing is that they got made? Not just Netflix, practically all the OTT platforms streaming new films have come up with some terrible ones in recent times.

Another bad recent release is John Whitesell’s ‘Holidate.’ Yes, it is about holidays and dates and many cliched moments you can guess and some ‘new’ ones that won’t amuse you one bit.

The film stars Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey as Sloane and Jackson, both singles, who aren’t fond of holidays. Why? Because holidays lead to terribly awkward situations such as Sloane sharing a table with children to avoid discussions targeted towards her. Neither Jackson nor Sloane is comfortable with the state of their personal lives, and they must find a way out.

The basic idea isn’t a bad one. The bad news is that it turns into a tiring watch moments after the start because of a shabby wafer-thin screenplay.

This is what happens. Sloane and Jackson, who meet at a mall, decide to be each other’s ‘holidate’ during all the holidays of the year. The arrangement is meant to be honoured in strictly platonic terms. Why? Because sex complicates matters. That is why.


‘Holidate’ aspires to be a rom-com. Sadly, neither of the two tracks of romance and comedy are well-scripted. The lead characters go through the motions like robots trained to talk and move with no emotions attached.

Bracey is an Australian actor. Is that why Jackson’s character is an Australian, too? He pronounces ‘mate’ as ‘mait’ and talks about cricket from time to time. Yes, the film is ‘that’ cliched.

What is supposed to elicit smiles boomerangs without exception.

There is this situation when one of the characters loses a finger after a typically unfunny episode, making one wonder why director Whitesell didn’t chop the sequence off instead of incorporating it in the film.

The funniest sequence of the film? Sloane gets into trouble after consuming laxative pills by mistake ‘Holidate’ has many such trying-hard-to-be-funny moments, whose solitary contribution is making additions to the running time.

Sloane and Jackson meet at a mall. The film ends inside a mall as well. Before that happens, all kinds of characters pop in and out of the story. Friends, relatives, the girl’s ex with a hot new girlfriend: the viewer must have seen similar characters in many comedies earlier.

Why do films like ‘Holidate’ get made? What is bad for you is great for many others. And Netflix knows it.

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