What do you get when you put a female lead actress and a male lead actor together? Pretty much every single rom-com. Mix in a good enough plot to keep the audience watching and there you have it. Simple right?
As much as I don’t like to give into romantic comedies and their same repeated story telling for every movie you see, somehow I can never seem to get enough. And that’s exactly what happened here.
Holidate is a 2020 Netflix romantic comedy holiday film directed by John Whitesell. It stars Emma Roberts who plays Sloane, a single twenty-something on the brink of thirty who continues to get meddled by her family for when she’ll get a significant other. It’s safe to say the holidays are not her favorite time of year. Having to explain the same drawn-out answer always given and even having to bring a random date to every occasion. Sloane’s had enough and manages to find a loophole out of it when she meets Jackson, played by Luke Bracey.
What happens when you put two people with the same problems of being single and avoiding the holidays? A concept worth watching. Given their situation both of them decide to be each others date for the holidays, hence the “holidate.”
It’s all fine though right? They each get to have a date to every holiday, nobody assumes anything anymore, oh, and they’re just remaining friends. What could possibly go wrong.
Spoiler alert: everything.
Here’s the problem I had with this film. It’s not the fact that it’s another reprinted version of a Hallmark Christmas film. It’s not that it has cliches sprinkled in throughout. It’s the fact that this film had the opportunity to make something different. It had a good concept, the name of it was interesting enough to have a nice ring to it. And instead of going along with that, they did what every rom-com film does best: they had the main characters fall in love and they lived happily every after.
Now, I get why everyone does it. We want a film that gives others hope, to make someone feel something, and ultimately, make people want to watch it more and even recommend it to others. But when you’re showing something that isn’t necessarily reality and it’s the same thing over and over, does anyone consider that it might be time for a change?
I’m not saying leave it with a horrible ending or anything like that. But maybe next time consider the possibility of the main character getting by on their own. Not every rom-com has to end with loving somebody, sometimes it can just be loving themselves.
Want to watch it for yourself? Check out the trailer here.