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I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love a good holiday film. Sometimes, though, holiday films are just so bad that they turn into something great; I’m sure we all know some bad Hallmark films that are the holy grail of a fun watch.

This, along with the central relationship in the movie, is exactly what makes the new Netflix film Holidate so enjoyable to watch. 

*Note: Spoilers ahead!*

Holidate is a film about getting into a relationship during the holiday season. It follows two people, Sloane (played by Emma Roberts) and Jackson (played by Luke Bracey), who both hate being single during the holidays.

The pair first meet when returning unfortunate Christmas gifts they received, and after ganging up on a checkout girl, they decide to split a warm pretzel and end up hitting it off. Though they’re strangers, they decide to become each other’s platonic plus-ones for every holiday, even the ones that don’t necessarily need a date, like Mother’s Day. Both want someone near them during the holidays, so they don’t do something they’ll regret, like sleeping with a random person or calling an ex.

However, we all know this wouldn’t be a holiday film without some romance – a big part of what made this film so charming was the chemistry between Emma Roberts’ and Luke Bracey’s characters. Their back and forth banter full of humor and support is all anyone could ask for in a relationship, and these two characters have that rapport from the moment they meet. 

Holidate opens with Sloane smoking a cigarette in the freezing cold on Christmas Eve. Sloane is in her 30s and has an overbearing mother who wants her to settle down and be happy, but Sloane resents this notion. We quickly realize that her humbug mentality not only applies to Christmas, but other holidays as well; the film eventually alludes to the fact that holidays remind Sloane of the heartbreaks of her past – perhaps something we can relate to. For every holiday we see in the film, there’s a little gem of a scene that reveals something about Sloane or Jackson’s respective pasts and the people they used to love. 

Holidate is a unique holiday movie because it doesn’t just focus on Christmas; it incorporates other holidays as well. Though it has some mild inappropriate humor and a couple of sex scenes, it still feels like a good choice for a holiday season watch list. I’m not going to say anything more about the plot of the film; you’ll have to watch it yourself to find out the rest!

Along with the cliché but amusing plot, the phenomenal cast also makes this film an entertaining watch. Sloane is portrayed by the amazing Emma Roberts. You probably know her from films like Aquamarine, We’re the Millers, Nerve, or my favorite of her movies, Wild Child. Her counterpart is portrayed by Luke Bracey, a less well-known actor, but if you’ve ever watched the film Monte Carlo starring Selena Gomez, you’ll recognize him as well. 

Not only is the main cast amazing, but the featured characters are also great. For example, Kristin Chenoweth, a Broadway legend, happens to be in this movie playing Sloane’s aunt. Another featured character is played by Jessica Capshaw, who is most well-known for her role as Arizona Robbins in Grey’s Anatomy. 

In the past week, I’ve watched this movie twice. The first time, I used Netflix Party so I could watch it with my friends, and the second time, I watched it with my sister. Something everyone loved about this film was the sibling dynamic between Sloane and her brother and sister. When I’m in my 30s, I hope to be as close to my sister as Sloane is with her siblings in the film.

The reason I found this movie so heartwarming, despite its cheesiness, was that it showed genuine relationships I wanted in my future. Obviously, the film had to go all out with a grand romantic gesture at the end – an entire mall listens to Sloane as she professes her love to Jackson – and I was all for it! Emma Roberts does an incredible job playing Sloane both before and after her relationship with Jackson changes how she sees the holidays. 

I strongly believe that everyone should see this film! It’s a heartwarming movie that’s super fun to watch, has an incredible cast, and will leave you with that warm and fuzzy holiday feeling. 

Zoe is a Sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, she is majoring in Cinema and Media Studies as well as minoring in English and Russian Studies. She hails from London, England, and has loved being a part of HerCampus. She has a younger sister, and two Havanese dogs (both of whom she misses very much). When she is not studying, she is the Vice President of Penn Sirens (Penn’s Premier all-female acapella group), a performing member of the Musical Theatre and Light Opera Company ‘Penn Singers’, a mentor for ASAP (After School Arts Program), and was selected as a student liaison between the Annenberg center and the students involved in the arts on campus. Find her on Instagram @z.goldstein
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