Romantic comedies can be a whole lot of fun IF and only IF they try to be at least a tad bit fresh/original. Likable leads with good onscreen chemistry are OF COURSE necessary. If you don’t have that then you might as well forget it and Holidate sure does have that. And while the typical rom-com formula is mostly followed here, the script adds in some refreshing details, keeps the comedy coming frequent enough, and remembers to give you the feels. I haven’t seen a romantic comedy I really enjoyed in quite some time so this was a nice little treat!
As I mentioned, Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey really do have good chemistry. They have a casual fun energy that’s extremely attractive. Besides their chemistry together, they’re also good just on their own. I’ve of course seen Emma Roberts in a good many films so I already knew she was a capable actress but I hadn’t seen Luke Bracey in anything before. I must admit that I was in love with him right away…. the man sure ain’t ugly! He certainly fits the bill when it comes to physical attractiveness. They utilize his good looks well and that Australian accent adds some sweet sugar on top for sure.
But with the intoxicating looks aside, he really is a fine actor and handles this role very well; he comes off as so much fun but also really sweet. I just kept thinking ok this is the kind of man I need…. which means the rom-com is doing its job. The supporting cast does a nice job too, Kristen Chenowith and Frances Fisher in particular. I’d never really seen Kristen Chenowith in such a raunchy role but she does a great job! And Fisher gives an amusing performance as the ultimate meddling momma.
I was actually really surprised to see Holidate was an R rated romantic comedy with an adult target audience, when I saw it had come out I just assumed it was a Hallmark-esque type film but by Netflix. I am so so so happy that Netflix rose above that steaming garbage and gave us a rom-com that we could actually have fun with! The comedy lands most of the time and the writers weren’t afraid to get raunchy sometimes. Too many of these types of films keep things extra glossy and fake but this script has a “keeping it real” kind of vibe which just makes things a whole lot more enjoyable.
The script makes the main characters seem like real people who most can relate to and that adds to their likability. And even though some of the comedy is raunchy and adult oriented they don’t actually show the act of sex in graphic detail which is good because the only time sex happens is in a non raunchy type of scenario. I liked how Holidate handled the love scene. It was tender and sweet with a sprinkling of sexiness but they didn’t get too dirty because it’s meant to be sweet, not overly lustful.
As far as flaws, the only flaw I came away with was that Holidate did follow the typical rom-com formula too much in my opinion, especially towards the end. Lucky for this film though, this flaw is relatively small and overlooked due to the abundance of positives to be found. Romantic comedies like this one are so much better than the fake shlock on Hallmark because of the sense of realness. Yes, people who like each other do kiss and often times have sex. It’s also a lot better because of the fresh writing, the comedy is actually funny and the romance doesn’t feel forced.
Holidate is a really fresh enjoyable holiday themed romantic comedy that I hope you’ll go watch… you won’t regret it!
Pretty much the opposite of holiday cheer
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!