As Christmas creeps closer, it’s not uncommon to see Netflix’s hundred-something festive-themed movies shoved into our Recommended section. One movie pushed onto viewers in particular is the new holiday Netflix original, “Holidate” starring Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey.
Let’s first mention that this movie’s rating is TV-MA — and it lives up to it. “Holidate” puts an interesting twist on the “pretend we’re dating and then actually fall in love” trope, but doesn’t actually draw you in the way others of its kind do.
Our main character Sloane (Emma Roberts) is tired of spending holidays alone and her family’s constant pressure to find a boyfriend. Our male lead, Jackson (Luke Bracey), suffers from the same holiday dilemma. The two meet at the mall and eventually agree to be each other’s platonic-holiday-plus-one’s, or holidates.
The on-screen chemistry between Roberts and Bracey is obvious, compelling and able to turn an alright script into something moderately enjoyable.
My criticism is directed, not towards the actors, but towards the lack of pizzaz throughout the film. Sloane and Jackson are each other’s dates to literally every holiday — I’m talking New Years, Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco De Mayo (a bit confusing), everything — and yet the two do not showcase what the audience should be able to interpret as a buildable relationship. At most of the events, it seems like they do the same funny dance, then go their separate ways until the next holiday. It’s not until Halloween when the two really act and acknowledge their potential feelings for each other.
“Holidate” has all aspects needed for a cheesy heartfelt romcom, but fails to tie it together and provide the typical satisfaction that follows after watching a good, though corny, romcom.