Have you ever been vaguely a mid-late 20-something or an early-mid 30-something and it feels like everyone around you is always asking “When are you going to get married?” and “Why haven’t you found someone?” Are you tired of being compared to a younger sibling who lived life “according to plan” better than you? Has it gotten so annoying that you’re willing to consider a platonic friend to fake kiss just to shut your aunt up? Then boot up Netflix because Holidate is the movie for you!
A Netflix movie that’s good? Yeah I know. Maybe they’re onto something or maybe they’re just doing a more expensive version of the Blumhouse thing where you throw spaghetti at the wall until it sticks then claim success.
But this one is actually pretty good. It looks like a Hallmark movie intentionally, while subverting that into something that is very much not a Hallmark movie. It takes a nice big steamy well mannered cheeky dump on those movies, not unlike Recipe For Seduction.
You get F words, dick jokes, sex jokes, cringe embarrassment, drinking, smoking. Not very Hallmark, but still very fun.
Comedy movies are not easy to make. An average comedy is meh. A bad comedy is painful. But a good comedy? Rare and very good.
You’ll know within the first 5-10 minutes if this is the kind of comedy movie for you. They front load a couple of the cruder jokes to set the tone.
The straight play of some of the comedic scenes is great. There’s a few gags that I can still laugh at every time I think about them. Plus the inverting and subverting of the Hallmark movie tropes while also still playing along with them is pretty fun too.
The concept isn’t new, mainly because it’s ripping on your Hallmark movies directly. Two strangers down on their luck with love. They’re both tired of being single for the holidays mostly because they’re sick of the family pressure that comes with it. They wackily end up spending time together and continuously running into each other. It’s all platonic friendship until oopsie! FEELINGS! Oh my gosh, how will they ever deal with their feelings for each other?
Sometimes it’s nice to watch a short-ish throwaway rom-com. There is chemistry between the leads to make you care just enough. There’s nothing wrong with junk food movies. No new ground is broken, but that doesn’t matter. You know what you’re watching and how it’s going to end, but it gets there and amuses along the way.
By no means is this a timeless holiday classic. You’re not replacing Home Alone on your watch calendar. But if you’re looking for something aimed at your ambiguously defined “millennial” folks who like to drink and party to feel better, but in an innocent way, then it’s a fun movie to mix in.
Plus, the concept of this sort of relationship sometimes really speaks to me as a single thirty-something. Even attending a backyard fire or a barbecue among friends at the park brings up the “so why aren’t you seeing anyone?”, “when are you gonna find someone?”, and “you’re getting older, you should get married soon!” things. Like I don’t know! If I had those answers I wouldn’t be single and wouldn’t have to put up with your questions, would I? Living through that as these characters do makes them feel real to me.
I might watch it again. I might not. But I’m glad I did as for 90 minutes I had a good time laughing at the characters, laughing at myself and drinking some candy cane hot chocolate with a bit of adult happy juice.