If not for the cliches, this movie would have a lot of potential.
“Holidate” appears to me like it is a Gen Z take on the stereotypical Hallmark holiday movie. Even though it has moments of cynicism to the genre, it still falls into the same pits that its predecessors do. Sloane and Jackson (played by Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey) are commonly written and worn out characters. Throughout the holidays, they try to twist up the characters, but they still end up very formulaic. The actors do a great job of building chemistry and fun energy, but the way that the characters are presented and formulated makes it hard to truly connect with them.
The core of the premise is actually really interesting. When meeting around Christmas, our protagonists meet at the mall in a classic meet-cute fashion. After a bit of “not flirty” banter, Jackson convinces Sloane to be holiday buddies for the next year. On all of the big national holidays and common family gatherings for the next year, they have dates now. The catch is that they are not going to have sex or be romantic on these “holidates.” Seems like an interesting challenge, right? Well, it would be, if not for the generic pacing and plot that continues from there. They have classic embarrassing mishaps on different holidays, cute moments that make romantics smile, the “running into an ex” moment and of course, the long public “I love you” climax after a big conflict. This movie has a lot of potential if not for the sheer amount of cliches that lie in it.
All in all, this movie has some really cute and enjoyable moments, but it is still a predictable and average movie. If this kind of plot and formula sounds interesting to you, then this could be a grand slam with the sense of humor and “modern” versions of normal characters that this film has. If you want anything more than that, then this film is not really it. With all of that being said, this Netflix Original gets a 5 out of 10.