Holidate – the next rom-com that she’ll make you watch

The Holidate is the latest romantic comedy to hit Netflix. Predictable but edgy, this is the Hallmark Movie you’d get if they could include sex, alcohol, and mild drug use instead of some lame-ass kiss at the end.

And, did I mention, it is the next movie your girl (or guy) will make you watch.

What’s the Holidate about?

It’s a romantic comedy. It’s literally about a guy and a girl slowly falling in love after a chance encounter. What more is there to explain?

But if in an effort to not come off as a cynical prick, here’s how I’d describe the Holidate.

A down on her love-life-luck Julia Roberts clone meets a seemingly together Chris Hemsworth-wanna-be Australian, who is as fed up with being dateless or having bad dates on the holidays as she is. Neither like the idea of commitment because – now this fucking shocking – they were both burned by lovers in the past.

Now where have I seen this plot play out before… Oh that’s right. The Hallmark Channel.

But unlike the typical Hallmark Christmas movie, neither of them:

  • dislike or want to skip Christmas
  • is the face of a faceless company while the other is some home town hero living and loving a small town life
  • got dumped or experienced tragedy on Christmas causing an extremely unbalanced and unhealthy biased against Christmas

Hell, most of the movie doesn’t even revolve around Christmas.

Cue Hallmark execs shitting a brick. I don’t think they realized you could make a Christmas rom-com without those elements.

After all, how can Netflix expect us to follow the plot if the main characters are not trying to get the big Christmas ad campaign ready to launch on December 24th? Or what kind of stakes are there if the main character isn’t getting a promotion that starts right after Christmas, which will effectively render the budding romance futile unless the main character makes a life altering decision?

Instead, we see how these clearly-going-to-fall-in-love-at-the-end-of-the-movie people navigate several famous holidays throughout the year. As prophesized in the Great Rom-Com Guide Book, they eventually fall in love and end up together the following Christmas.

Who’s in Holidate?

Here are a few of the faces you can expect to see in Holidate.

Julia Robert's Clone (Emma Roberts)

Julia Robert’s Clone (Emma Robert) – You pretty much will think you are watching Julia Roberts in some of her earlier romantic-comedies from the 80s and 90s. Her niece is pretty much a dead ringer for her. She plays the main female love interest and is just this side of not irritating.

Netflix's Chris Hemsworth (Luke Bracey)

You may recognize Netflix’s Chris Hemsworth (Luke Bracey) from his work on Dance Academy, Hacksaw Ridge, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, or some of the other handful of movies he’s acted in. He is the main male love interest and proof you can’t dislike him if he has a fun Australian accent.

Glinda the Good Witch (Kristin Chenoweth)

Glinda the Good Witch of the South (Kristin Chenoweth) was certainly good to several different men she dated for 3 or 4 days around the holidays throughout the movie. You may recognize her from her work on Broadway’s Wicked or various onscreen performances where she pretty much plays the same character.

Rose's mother (Frances Fisher) is still alive?

First impression, “Dear God! She hasn’t aged a day since Titanic. She’s like Paul Rudd if he was a crotchety old lady. She stopped aging in the 90s.” Anyway, expect to see Rose’s mother (Frances Fisher) play a crotchety mother who just wants her daughter to marry a rich man… though I’m pretty sure she relaxed her standards a bit to include any man in this movie.

There were other people in the movie. Those were the highlights of random people. For a full list, you could check out IMDb’s list. It’s extensive and not sarcastic.

Where can you watch Holidate?

If you are looking to surprise your significant other, secretly love rom-coms with predictable endings, plots, and characters, or just want to watch a non-Hallmark Christmas rom-com that includes bad language as well as drug and sexual references, you can catch Holidate on Netflix starting on October 28, 2020.

If you want to avoid it because you feel your soul and what little masculinity you have getting sucked out of you just reading this, you should steer clear of Netflix starting on October 28, 2020.

Was that Ryan Gosling?

Throughout Holidate, the main characters poke fun of rom-coms. Julia Robert’s clone (Emma Roberts / Sloane) thinks it is comical that young ladies in a rom-com wouldn’t immediately let Ryan Gosling sweep them off their feet.

Flash forward to nearly the end of the movie, and you see the lovers arguing. They once again bring up Ryan Gosling.

During this argument, you can see a seeming extra that looks a lot like Ryan Gosling checking out the frozen foods. When I saw it, I swore it was him as a joke, while my wife believed it was not him. A quick look at the cast list showed he’s not listed.

As it turns out, it was definitely not Ryan Gosling. The Independent reported a Chad Zigmund, the stand in for the male lead, was the person you see in the frozen food section. And his Instagram page sort of proves the report is likely accurate:

Ryan Gosling look alike in Holidate
Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/CHGyn9-FcA4/
Reviewing the Holidate
Overall
3.6
  • Plot
    (3)
  • Characters
    (3.5)
  • Watchability
    (3.5)
  • Likelihood of getting lucky with your significant other after the movie
    (4.5)
User Review
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Husband's Review

Rom-coms are the movie equivalent to the cheap romance novels you can pick up at the Dollar store:

  • they are quick to make
  • many women (and some men)  love them
  • they all follow the same formula and plot. 

Holidate is no exception to this rule. Insert a guy and a girl with obvious character flaws. Have the main characters meet. Establish some reason they need to be in constant contact despite their obvious differences that overshadow – at first – that they actually are pretty much the same emotionally broken people. Make them fall in love. Pull the rug out from under them with <insert cliché problem here>. Have them profess their love and end happily.

You really can’t screw with that formula. Why? Because it doesn’t work. You ever watch The Breakup with Vince Vaughn? Terrible movie. You know why? They didn’t end up together in the end. The fuck kind of rom-com is that?

Holidate doesn’t bother to try to break from the established mold. Hell, it doesn’t even try to push any envelops really, though it does sort of tap into elements of a stoner comedy at times. Still, it’s a welcome relief from the nauseatingly prudish Hallmark Christmas rom-coms that start up this time of year.

The Hallmark formula includes: They fall in love and then <wait for it> they kissed, often as you would imagine a brother and sister might. You wait an entire fucking movie to finally see two consenting adults awkwardly kiss on the lips.

That’s Hallmark for you. 

At least in the Holidate, the male lead gets an implied blow job from his psychotic date in the beginning of the movie. And then she delivers this memorable line in front of her parents:

“So you know me well enough to cum in my mouth but you don’t know me well enough to get me a Christmas present?”

Mind you, the actress who gets to deliver this line is the voice actress of Elena from Elena of Avalor. I don’t know why, but for some reason that makes it funnier to me. 

The movie also pokes fun of romantic comedies quite a bit. The lovers talk about the woman’s reaction to potentially meeting Ryan Gosling enough to make me think they actually would get him to do a cameo in the grocery store scene. Alas, they may have done this, but it is not confirmed. 

As rom-coms go, this was not the worst I’ve ever seen. And trust me, my wife has made me watch every single Hallmark Christmas movie released to date. Fuck, we might have watched some that have not been released yet. In fact, I’ve seen them so much that I can actually appreciate them for their crappiness.

And that’s how Holidate is. It’s crappy, cheesy, predictable, and nothing I would start watching without my wife ever, but it owned its crap. It didn’t try to be cutting edge. Nor did it imply that two grown ass adults would not so much as hold hands with each other until they pretty much promised themselves to each other like they would in every Hallmark movie ever made.

So in that regard, the movie had some “edge” to it. Will you hate your life watching this? Maybe. But unless you truly hate rom-coms and you are literally only watching it hoping to get some action at the end, you probably won’t entirely despise this movie. If you’re watching it for ulterior motives , well, at least you earned it?

Pros

Follows the predictable, well-liked formula expected of a rom-com.

Includes references and allusions to adult oriented situations, such as sex, drinking, and gateway drug use.

Has some funny moments and references.

Ryan Gosling may have made an uncredited appearance.

Cons

You’ve seen this movie every time you’ve watched a rom-com for any reason.

Main characters make frustrating mistakes that make you want to bitch slap them for being so stupid.

There is no real depth to any subplots, but all the subplots and main plot end happily. 

Reviewing the Holidate
Overall
3.9
  • Plot
    (4)
  • Characters
    (2.5)
  • Watchability
    (4)
  • Likelihood of getting lucky with your significant other after the movie
    (0.5)
User Review
  • Plot
    Sending
  • Characters
    Sending
  • Watchability
    Sending
  • Likelihood of getting lucky with your significant other after the movie
    Sending

Wife's Review

My husband’s not wrong.

Rom-coms are the movie equivalent to the cheap romance novels. And you know what? I love cheap romance novels. I got a subscription to Kindle Unlimited so that I can read as many of them per month as I want.

And I’m not sad about that. Why? Because they are predictable, cheesy and the good ones have a happy ending.

Side note to any romance writer or romance film maker: don’t mess with my happy endings. I will not like it. In fact, I will LOATHE IT.

Fortunately for all die hard romcom lovers such as myself, Holidate does not mess with this formula. It’s ridiculously predictable with a contrived plot that would only ever happen in the movies (or the romance novels I devour). But it has a delightfully satisfying happy ending.

Here’s where the big but comes in for me.

The best romantic comedies, be it books or movies, make me like the characters and root for them.

I sort of low key hated the majority of the characters in Holidate. Emma Roberts as Sloane was just this side of so annoying – I wanted to punch her in the face. 

Yes, I get it sweetheart, your hottie hot boyfriend dumped you for a model and got his rebound model girlfriend knocked up.

But is that really why you have so many deep seated issues that you can’t recognize how good this thing is you’ve got going on with Jackson, who also has an adorable accent? He dumped her right before the movie started so how can she be so jaded already when this was the one heartbreak she had?

Honestly, her cynicism and jaded attitude was a bit too much for me. It was the ingredient in this rom com recipe that threw the whole thing off balance and made me wish for a character that was just a bit more likeable. 

On the plus side, her character works from home in a uniform of pajamas and sweatpants and that made me feel really seen and thus made her not totally unredeemable.

But when I could get passed how she’s borderline irritating the whole time, the movie itself had some funny moments and was a solidly entertaining, though predictable, romp that delivered some decent laughs despite Sloane’s fairly awful older sister who’s the trope of a tired unhappy mom and Kristen Chenowith pretty much playing her character from Glee.

Pros

Follows the predictable, well-liked formula expected of a rom-com.

Includes references and allusions to adult oriented situations, such as sex, drinking, and gateway drug use.

Has some funny moments and references.

The ending was thoroughly satisfying.

It’s proof that there’s hope of not aging. Frances Fisher is like the female Paul Rudd. She looks exactly the same in this movie as she did in Titanic.

Cons

Sloane walks the fine line of quirky versus so annoying you can’t like her.

The sister makes some really dumb decisions that I also hate.


Want to really hate yourself for loving a movie? Check out One Royal Holiday review before watching it on the Hallmark Channel.

Nathan

Nathan is not a published author, professional movie critic, or avid fan of most children shows. He is a caring father (when he's not banging his head against the wall), a movie connoisseur of sorts literally able to have full conversations in movie and TV quotes, and dedicated to helping other parents avoid starting a show with their small children that they will soon regret. In his free time, he does nothing. He has two small children. Free time does not exist.

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