Sloane is nearly 30 years old and, as is the case with almost every rom-com ever made, is single and unlucky in love. Her overbearing mother is constantly trying to set her up, and with an older married sister and a younger brother who gets engaged, Sloane is really feeling the pressure to find a partner. That's when her aunt suggests a Holidate. That is a plus-one you date just for the holidays so you're not on your own.
Enter Luke, an equally unlucky-in-love guy who bumps into Sloane in the mall. The two sort of hit it off and with no pressure to fall in love, they decide that a Holidate is exactly what they each need for their upcoming weddings, parties etc… Their first ‘date' starts on New Year's Eve and we quickly zip through the year as they start to become friends.
You can pretty much guess what happens. It's a paint-by-numbers rom-com that is only elevated by the fact that it isn't as sugary sweet as a lot of movies in that genre. This is no Hallmark rom-com! And that's what makes it a fun watch. Emma Roberts (Paradise Hills) and Luke Bracey really do have great chemistry and they pop on the screen, even if we have seen very similar movies before – Plus One anyone?
If there is a criticism to be leveled at Holidate its that it embodies every cliche known to man. Apparently being nearly 30 and single is a fate worse than death. You couldn't possibly be happy or content with your life. Instead, you get sad pitying glances as those around scramble to set you up with anybody who happens to have a pulse. It's just the same plot trotted out with little or no deviation from the usual tropes.
That said, Holidate doesn't pretend to be anything other than a sweet, light-hearted, and funny movie. Sure, it's predictable from the minute it starts but if you're looking for a deep and meaningful film, you're probably watching the wrong genre. It promises a rom-com and it delivers a rom-com. An easy way to pass 90 minutes.