Nothing beats staying in on a cold, rainy day with a bowl of popcorn and Netflix streaming on the screen. Introducing a romantic comedy perfect for Christmas, Holidate is a light-hearted film that may hit too close to the heart.
The cast and the plot
Directed by John Whitesell and written by Tiffany Paulsen, Holidate stars the talented Emma Roberts (as Sloane), the handsome Luke Bracey (as Jackson), and the flirtatious Kristin Chenoweth (as Aunt Susan).
Agreeing to be each other’s platonic partners for holidays and special occasions, Sloane and Jackson fall in love with each other over the course, slowly and unwittingly.
All about Sloane
“Why is everyone so suspicious of a happy single woman?” – Emma Roberts (as Sloane)
Holiday family gatherings are tiresome, especially for the now single Sloane. A young working adult, Sloane enjoys working at home in her comfortable shirt and baggy trousers (who doesn’t?). However, her nit-picky mother, Elaine (played by Frances Fisher) is worried about her daughter’s singlehood and her lack of dressing up.
“Why are you single?” Elaine is constantly trying to set Sloane up with men despite the latter’s protests; expectations and obsessions with Sloane’s singlehood are putting pressure on her.
Herein enters Jackson
Jackson is a young, professional Australian golfer. Stuck in a relationship he has no interest in, he has been failing at getting social cues from his then-girlfriend. After an exasperating argument over Christmas present and wacky, matching sweaters, Jackson decides to call it quits. Hereafter, Jackson prefers a date with no attachments, both drama and love free.
The two meet
Destiny begins when Sloane and Jackson meet in a departmental store, when they are both returning presents that they received. Agreeing to be each other’s “Holidate”, a platonic date for every holiday gathering as Aunt Susan has coined, the two becomes fast friends. Jackson gets to avoid serious relationships and attachment while Sloane can finally have a ‘boyfriend’ to keep her family’s pity at bay.
After spending New Year’s Eve with each other, Sloane yearns for something genuine despite having a great time with Jackson. Her hesitation stops her from contacting him any further.
On Valentine’s Day, an unfortunate meeting with her ex-boyfriend and a new girl sent Sloane reeling about her singlehood again. As expected, Jackson swoops in and saves the day when he happens to pass by. This marks the beginning of their affirmed Holidate agreement.
And love begins
Celebrating Fourth of July together (and many previous holidays), Jackson has become rather close with Sloane’s family. While setting off a firework, Jackson accidentally blew part of his finger off, leading to an emergency rush to the hospital. This time, concern is evident in Sloane as she frets over Jackson’s injury. Meanwhile, the pain does not deter Jackson as he becomes visibly agitated when Sloane flirts with the doctor.
After several dramatic episodes and an accidental night together, Sloane and Jackson are seen to be falling in love slowly but surely. Although Jackson is keen to take a step further, Sloane is apprehensive and on the fence.
After a labyrinth of apologies and acceptance
Sloane’s insecurity for the relationship has stemmed from Jackson’s early remark of not being attracted to her. Despite Jackson’s apology and adamant rescind of his careless words, Sloane refuses to give Jackson a chance. This wall in communication results in an awkward relationship.
Witnessing the amorous Aunt Susan’s sudden heartfelt confession to her brief fling, Sloane is momentarily touched and confused by her own feelings for Jackson as well. Perhaps, it’s time to let the wall down.
Finally, the two become a couple
“Human beings aren’t meant to be alone on the holidays. We actually need warmth, companionship and someone to drunk mock strangers with at parties.” – Luke Bracey (as Jackson)
This time, subverting the gender norms, Sloane chases after Jackson. After a mall-wide, on-stage confession to Jackson, Sloane finally spills her feelings, willing to give this relationship a try.
In all Christmassy warmth, Jackson agrees to be Sloane’s permanent plus one. The two now stay together for all holidays, this time with genuine love and attraction.
The on-screen chemistry between Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey has exalted the script, their performances natural and laudable. However, some dialogues can be unnecessarily raunchy that may be uncomfortable for some.
The plot is predictably simple although the style of comedy is commendably catered to the tastes of this generation. From hilarious scenes, witty lines to adorable and heartwarming interactions, Holidate is a charming film that conveys the importance of companionship.
Ultimately, the key takeaway from Holidate is the slow and natural growth to love. The film emphasises on being in an emotionally healthy relationship with willing parties and open communication.
So, who is your Holidate?