Directed by: John Whitesell

Rated: TV-MA

Runtime: 1:43

Review by: Livi Edmonson

Starring Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey, with an occasional appearance from Kristin Chenoweth, “Holidate” is just one of Netflix’s most recent disastrous attempts at a Christmas comedy. 

Although some of the best holiday films are mainstream romantic comedies, this one is neither funny nor romantic — but surprisingly, it had potential since the plot was surprisingly decent. The flick follows two single strangers who form an agreement to be each other’s plus-ones at every mandatory holiday function that they are forced to attend. 

Of course, they catch feelings for one another along the way, but that aspect is still a little hazy given the horrible chemistry between both leading actors.

Don’t get me wrong: I expected the acting to be good, or at least semi-decent. I have always been a huge Emma Roberts fan, and given the fact that she has had multiple career-defining roles with success in both film and television, she was the selling point for this film, in my opinion. But no, Emma Roberts, it is going to be hard to recover from this blundering disgrace. 

The plot is interesting, so you’re probably thinking: Where did it all go wrong? The first obvious reason has to be the horrible acting that results in both a lack of chemistry between the characters, as well as a lack of likability for these two leads in general. The second obvious reason falls within the category of screenwriting. The script is predictable and with the screenwriter being a female herself, I cannot help but wonder why the film is not even a little bit progressive — which brings us to the third reason why this film sucks: the forced raunchiness.

Some of the best holiday comedies are at least a little crude, examples being films such as “Four Christmases,” “The Night Before,” and even the “Bad Santa” series. But the difference between these comedic classics and “Holidate” is that this film tries so hard to be outrageously entertaining that it comes across as absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention that this film also has moments throughout where it switches from a semi-funny, filler scene to a sappy, dramatic scene in a matter of seconds. It makes zero sense on paper and it does not work any better in the film, trust me.

This movie is honestly the worst to put it quite frankly. Sure, Christmas comedies are not meant to be critically acclaimed and although I am the first to excuse a bad holiday film that is so bad it is good, “Holidate” is not even a good bad movie in the slightest. It is just plain terrible. 

The only reason I give this film a rating of 1 out of 10 instead of a 0 out of 10 is because I know so many people will need something to watch due to being bored out their minds this holiday season, and at least Netflix is still releasing films, unlike the capitalist Hollywood studio system. But at the end of the day, this film’s score of 44% on Rotten Tomatoes is honestly a positive score given how incredibly horrendous it is. What did we do to deserve these horrible Christmas movies? Isn’t 2020 bad enough?

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