I've decided to spend the lead-up to Christmas 2020 watching a ton of Christmas movies, as part of a desperate attempt to insert some holiday cheer into this hellscape of a year. To justify this time of my life that I will never get back, I'm going to write all about it so you don't make the same mistakes I made. You're welcome.
It took me three days to get through 1h43 of Holidate, not because I was trying to take it all in slowly but because I fell asleep twice while watching it and twice had to find my place in it the following day.
Holidate is a Christmas romcom that is neither a rom nor a com, which I guess is an impressive feat to achieve.
Starring Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey, it tells the story of Sloane and Jackson, two very objectively attractive white people who can't find anyone who wants to hang out with them for the holidays. Sloane also has a very judgemental family who sees it as a personal failure when she shows up for lunch on her own and who imply she'll be alone for as long as she dresses comfortably.
Jackson, on the other hand, says things like "chicks go mental on the holidays" and "girls get clingy".
Now tell me, which of these characters do you like so far? None, right? Correct.
Anyway, Sloane and Jackson meet while queuing to exchange Christmas gifts at a store and go on to become each other's platonic dates for every holiday, to get their family and friends off their backs about finding love. Except, in a plot twist even my one blind eye saw was coming, they fall for each other (awwww).
The premise is flimsy at best. If they were going to be each other's dates to stop their friends and relatives from asking about their love life, the whole plan should be disrupted by the fact they told everyone they're each other's platonic holidate.
It was my mistake: I had high expectations for Holidate because I'm a sucker for a portmanteau and because Netflix kept putting it right at the top of my recommendations. It turns out Netflix knows nothing about me and what I like.
I almost cancelled my subscription when it got to the bit where Sloane and Jackson do the Dirty Dancing bit at the club because, honestly, that's a sacred moment in the history of the seventh art and how dare they touch it?
I was looking online for an image to add to this review and came across a link with the headline: "Why Do Critics Hate Netflix's Holidate With Emma Roberts?" and, spoiler alert, it's because it sucks.
There's some good acting in there, but that's about it. There are no moments of true comedy and there are no moments of true romance, so to call it a romcom is just misleading.
It is a parade of cliches that peaks with a grandiose love declaration in front of a crowd inside a mall, the movie offers nothing new to the Christmas romcom genre.
As if sitting through the movie isn't enough, you get a montage in the epilogue showing what happened to the characters once the movie finished - as if any of us care by then.