So, Netflix’s first “holiday” romantic comedy is all about vulgar people, alcohol and substance abuse, crude hook-ups, bodily functions, bodily fluids and generous helpings of the f-bomb?
Charmlessly scripted and acted, “Holidate” is as amusing as a hand-job, and about as intimate.
Emma Roberts of “American Horror Story” is Sloane, dumped and not moving on from the vodka and chocolate binges post-breakup. Luke Bracey (“Point Break,” “Little Fires Everywhere”) is Jackson, Aussie golf pro and not particularly “attracted” to Sloane.
But Sloane’s libidinous Aunt (Kristin Chenoweth) has this gimmick that gets her through the holidays. The “no-expectations,” no consequences “Holidate” can be handy, as Jackson says, because women “go mental over the holidays.”
Frances Fisher plays Sloane’s blunt, nagging mother, the one who wants her daughter to find “someone who is legally bound to be there during chemo.”
Happy thought. Better than Mom’s judgement of her own sister, Susan.
“She’s gonna die alone, in a wheelchair and a diaper!”
Roberts is a veteran of the late Garry Marshall’s “holiday” romances, so she no doubt recognized this even-more-coarse holiday Romantic Hits package.
Sloane and Jackson “meet cute” (ish) post-Christmas and “Holidate” through New Year’s (a let-down), Valentine’s Day (worse), St. Patrick’s Day and a family Easter Egg hunt set to Ludacris singing “Move, Bitch (Get out the Way).”
The central premise, that you need to couple up to avoid that “wheelchair/diaper” analogy, is what’s ludicrous here. A rom-com as pathetic as this reminds us that we do indeed die alone.
Cinco de Mayo, a July Fourth fireworks mishap, Sloane and Jackson stumble and on and on through the calendar year. When will these crazy, mismatched kids find love?
Not before a frank talk about “slutty” Halloween costumes in front of a couple of seven year-old girls, who figure out a life’s goal from overhearing their mom (Jessica Capshaw) and Sloane, her sister.
“I wanna be a whore!”
Roberts and Bracey are cute enough, but don’t have the chemistry to wash away the bad taste “Holidate” leaves in your mouth.
We all feel a little dirtier after sitting through this.
MPAA Rating: TV-MA, substance abuse, profanity, sexual situations and profanity
Cast: Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, Kristin Chenoweth, King Bach, Frances Fisher.
Credits: Directed by John Whitesell, script by Tiffany Paulson. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:44