A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
True love is worth fighting for. Couples must treat each other kindly and care about each other's hobbies and interests, even after marriage. Open communication and being honest about feelings and needs is key to relationships.
Positive Role Models
Family members care about each other, even if that sometimes comes across as pressure to fulfill expectations. Sloane and her Aunt Susan learn that it's better to risk rejection than to possibly lose out on true love. Characters make bad some decisions, and they sometimes show remorse or make changes to future behavior. Some gender stereotypes, including women trying to trap a man into marriage before he's ready.
Violence & Scariness
Jackson drops Sloane when they're dancing, and they both fall to the floor. Men shoot fireworks at another man in a boat. A firework explosion blows off Jackson's finger, which has to be found in the sand and put on ice as he's rushed to the hospital for surgery. Sloane is given laxatives, which have a volatile effect when she barely makes it to the restroom in time.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex and sexual experiences are suggested and discussed at length, including language involving "vagina," "clitoris," "cum in my mouth," "hand job," "cookie licking," "porn," "cock," "back door," oral sex, sexting, a man's stamina, and a woman's drive to procreate. Two characters wake up in the same room, one wearing the other's underwear, but they're unsure if they had sex and try to look for signs.
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"F--k," "s--t, "bitch," "poop, pee, and piss," "hell," "slut," "whore," "t-ts," "boobs," and "ass," "suck," "d--khead," "wanker," "p--y," "Jesus," and "God." A rap song with "move bitch" lyrics is played to a slow-motion video of kids running toward an Easter egg hunt.
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Products & Purchases
Wealth and consumerism aren't a main theme, even though sections of the film take place in a shopping mall and there are scenes involving buying (and returning) Christmas presents. Like stores at the mall, products can be seen in the background of a scene in Sprouts grocery store. People use Mac laptops and drive various car makes. A scene from the film Dirty Dancing is recreated. Other obvious brands discussed or seen include Uber, Adidas, Pottery Barn, and Altoids.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Every one of Sloane and Jackson's dates involves drinking, often heavy. Characters get so drunk on occasions that they can't remember the night before or they make bad decisions and even cause themselves bodily injury. Characters smoke pot in a car and a hospital ER room. A group has trouble finding a sober driver in an emergency. Sloane is an occasional cigarette smoker. There's talk of "mocktails" and "drunk mocking" others.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that much of the humor in Holidate, which stars '90s romcom queen Julia Roberts' niece Emma Roberts, turns on sexual encounters and heavy drinking. The characters, including secondary, are ultimately decent people who care for one another. There's frank discussion of body parts ("vagina," "clitoris," "cock," "t-ts," "boobs," "ass") and reference to sexual positions and practices ("hand job," "cookie licking," "porn," "back door," oral sex, "cum in my mouth," sexting). The film plays on some gender stereotypes, including women trying to trap a man into marriage before he's ready, and discussion of a man's stamina and a woman's drive to procreate. The main characters drink, often heavily, on all of their holiday dates, resulting in one-night stands and memory fails, including one morning where they can't recall if they've had sex the night before. In another scene, men are drunkenly shooting off fireworks and one loses a finger. A group has trouble finding a sober driver in an emergency. Characters smoke pot in a car and a hospital ER room, and the female lead smokes occasional cigarettes. There's swearing and language throughout, including "f--k," "s--t," and "bitch." Despite scenes in a mall and of buying and returning presents, wealth and consumerism aren't a main theme. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Holidate ties together several classic romcom tropes: holiday romance, parents worrying about an unattached grown child, and a couple that everyone realizes is meant for each other before they do. The characters even discuss the romcom formula in an early scene, a wink at the predictability of the genre and, let's face it, this film too. But predictability and a happy ending are part of the attraction, and the formula works so long as there's chemistry between the leads (there is) and some quirky secondary characters (there are, especially Chenoweth as the promiscuous aunt, Frances Fisher as the shamelessly judging mom, and Manish Dayal as the hunky doctor next door).
Some of the raunchy language, sexual references, and drinking feel gratuitous, but there's something pleasingly retro about a film that sets scenes in a shopping mall with no irony. As Sloane, Roberts is charismatic, funny, and vulnerable. Across her, Bracey is like an Australian John Corbett, transmitting decency under his rakish good looks. Together, they create characters you'll find yourself rooting for by the end.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.