‘Holidate’ putting the ‘com’ in rom-com

“Holidate” is a quirky, relatable movie about the pitfalls of dating during the holiday season. Starring Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey, “Holidate” follows Sloane and Jackson as they navigate dating (or not dating) during the holidays.

Sloane, a single young woman living in Chicago, is doing pretty well for herself. Unless you count the fact that her family is always on her case for still being single.

When she goes to the mall to return an unwanted Christmas gift, Sloane meets Jackson. Their first meeting is less than romantic.

However, that first meeting is impactful because the two end up walking around the mall together recounting how their holidays did not go as expected.

From there, chaos ensues and Sloane and Jackson make a pact to be each other’s dates for every holiday. Essentially, they’ll be one another’s “holidate.” Christmas, New Years, Fourth of July, even Labor Day. No holidays are overlooked.

That’s where the movie falls short. The film tries to tackle too many holidays in a short amount of time. It felt rushed and the transitions were kind of sloppy. Not every holiday requires a date and some holidays shown in the film, particularly those that don’t exactly fit in with American culture, felt unnecessary.

“Holidate” was not what I expected. I had thought it was going to be along the lines of your typical Hallmark, rom-com movie. But that’s not at all what it was.

The film is definitely a comedy, with no shortage of comedic incidents. There are physical gags, witty one-liners, and dry sarcastic humor so all comedic genres were covered.

There were running gags, such as Sloane’s aunt (Kristin Chenoweth) constantly going out with different “holidates” that got more and more eccentric as the movie went on.

I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard at a movie in a long time.

Parts of it were lacking in the romance department, I feel. It could have been better developed within their feelings towards one another. It didn’t feel very believable considering they only ever talked on those holidates. It felt rather stilted to me.

Roberts and Bracey have good onscreen chemistry, but there still felt like something was lacking. There was not enough interaction within a normal timespan for it to have felt like a real “fake” relationship.

I really wanted to love this movie. It has one of my favorite tropes in movies and books: fake dating. There’s just something about it that makes it appealing, like how you never know if they really are going to fall in love.

As a romantic film, the Holidate doesn’t stand up to the hype but it’s a nice film to watch if you want to laugh and escape from reality for a while.
For those who want to watch it, the film can be found on Netflix.