Quick Take: Holidate
New on Netflix today is Holidate, a fluffy little rom-com starring Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey about a pair of strangers named Sloane and Jackson, who meet on boxing day at the mall whilst attempting to exchange Christmas gifts. The two commiserate over their terrible holiday and the fact that neither of them have dates for the impending New Years Eve, so they concoct a scheme to be each other's dates for every holiday of the upcoming year. They set some ground rules to keep it strictly platonic and both agree to not ever get physical. And since this is a romantic comedy, things get complicated when they start falling for each other.
Hollywood romantic comedies are so rare today, they almost feel like spotting a unicorn. But now with the rise of streaming platforms they're making their comeback again...albeit at perhaps reduced quality. As far as rom-coms go, you could do a lot worse than Holidate's premise...in fact I'd go so far as to even say the idea is fun! But the concept certainly needed to be in more talented hands all the way around if it ever wanted to be anything more than forgettable. Less crassness certainly would have helped a lot too.
Emma Roberts plays Sloane as neurotically single and hopelessly pining over her ex-boyfriend...but not necessarily likable. Meanwhile, Luke Bracey mostly relies on his Australian swagger to do his legwork as a leading man. The two have some sparks of chemistry here and there, but nothing electric.