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By Sue Jackson (Reporter)
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Movie Monday: Holidate

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Today’s movie review is pure fun–no greater purpose or meaning! On a sick day two weeks ago (luckily, becoming rare again), my husband was out golfing, and I decided to treat myself to a silly rom-com. I saw Holidate on Netflix and thought, “Hey, why not a silly rom-com with some seasonal fun?” I don’t normally watch typical holiday movies on Lifetime or Hallmark, but this was different, with plenty of laughs and a nice dose of snark. Besides, it’s not just about Christmas; it’s about ALL the holidays!

Sloane, played by Emma Roberts (niece of Julia Roberts), suffers through another frustrating Christmas with her family. Her younger brother gets engaged that evening, leaving Sloane as the last single person in her family … and they don’t let her forget it! Her sister is happily married, her mother (played by Frances Fisher) keeps trying to set up her with people, and even her young niece has a boyfriend. Her wild Aunt Susan, played by Kristin Chenoweth, is single, but she is known for showing up at family gatherings drunk with a man she barely knows. This year, her Christmas “date” is dressed as Santa, and she just met him at the mall. Susan advises Sloane to do what she does and bring a “holidate” to family holidays, someone she doesn’t have a strong connection with, just to get her family off her back. Meanwhile, Jackson, played by Luke Bracey, is having his own Christmas problems. A girl he’s only dated a few times brings him home to her parents, and the three of them act like Jackson is already part of the family, giving him expensive gifts, dressing him in a matching ugly sweater, and acting like they’re engaged. Sloane and Jackson have both sworn off holidays, when a few days later, they meet by chance at the mall. They trade their respective holiday horror stories, and Sloane tells him of her aunt’s strategy. They agree to be each other’s holidate for New Year’s Eve, and their partnership continues for every holiday throughout the year. As you might have guessed, their agreement to keep it casual eventually begins to falter, especially since Sloane’s family really comes to like Jackson.

In some ways, this is a typical rom-com, but it felt fresh and original to me, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a unique premise, with lots of chances for humor that result in plenty of laughs. Jumping from one holiday to the next makes it extra-fun. The two main actors are great to watch with good chemistry, and the supporting actors are excellent, too, with many familiar faces. This was the perfect movie for me at the time, to allow me to just relax and laugh and enjoy a little time to myself. Check out the trailer below and you’ll see what I mean!

Holidate is a Netflix original, so it is available exclusively on Netflix.


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