“Holidate” Review

Story posted November 8, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by Sarah Simpson.

With the holidays just around the corner, audiences craving a new romantic comedy need to look no further than “Holidate.” Netflix released the new film on Oct. 28, just in time for the holiday season we all know and love.

The film stars Emma Roberts as “Sloane” and Luke Bracey as “Jackson.” After a chance meeting at their local mall, Sloane and Jackson bond over frustrations of attending holiday functions as single people

They decide to be each other’s “holidate” until further notice, coming along as the other person’s date on holidays throughout the year.

Sloane hoped that Jackson’s presence would stop her family from questioning her about her relationship status while Jackson hoped to avoid casual dates getting attached to him, brought on by the pressures a holiday can bring.

“Holidate” echoes the classic tropes of every Hallmark-esque holiday film before it. A boy meets a girl, and they don’t like each other at first, but the holidays bring them together. It’s as cheesy as it sounds, but still an enjoyable, well done film.

The screenplay for “Holidate” was written by Tiffany Paulsen and the film was directed by John Whitesell.

It was produced by Wonderland Sound and Vision, a company known for projects such as “The O.C.,” “The DUFF” and “Supernatural.” The company was founded in 2001 by Joseph McGinty Nichol, who also helped produce “Holidate” alongside Mary Viola.

Other standout actors in “Holidate” include Kristin Chenoweth as Sloane’s “Aunt Susan,” Frances Fisher as her mother “Elaine,” Jessica Capshaw as her sister “Abby” and Andrew “King Bach” Bachelor as Jackson’s friend “Neil.”

Aside from the leading couple, many of the performances in “Holidate” felt overly comical and theatrical.

The film tried too hard to be edgy by including an abundance of sexual jokes and innuendos. The tone of the film didn’t match the dialogue, in this sense.

At times, the humor was innocent and romantic, as Sloane and Jackson grew closer. However, certain characters like Aunt Susan brought an overtly sexual tone to the story that felt unnecessary.

Although the film was about two adults, so sex was likely to come up, it just felt out of place in a story that was supposed to be heartfelt.

The cinematography was nothing special but was still well done. The premise was original, and it was interesting to follow the couple’s relationship throughout every holiday that year.

The plot was all there, but the dialogue was unoriginal and cheesy.

The film has not been well received by critics so far, either. On Rotten Tomatoes, “Holidate” has an average critic rating of 5.00/10 while audiences on the website have given it an average of 3.02/10. Many reviews said that the film is unoriginal and overdone.

“Holidate” was an enjoyable holiday romantic comedy, but nothing for the history books.

Rating: 2/5


Sarah Simpson is a junior majoring in film-video. To contact her, email sus816@psu.edu.