a critiQal film review Last Holiday (2006)

Plot: When an accident at work leads to a CAT scan - and the news that she only has 3 weeks to live - ultra-conservative Georgia (Latifah) decides to finally live out her dreams. As she does her best to enjoy her last few days, her long-time crush Sean (LL Cool J) tries to track her down.

521 words (Est. Reading Time 2m 36s)
  • ...should manage to elicit laughs from either sex.

After being blown away by Mission: Impossible III (2006) in theaters, it was time to kick back and watch a comedy. Heather had been wanting to see Last Holiday since she first saw a preview for it, and it didn’t look so bad to me.

So when she suggested we watch the movie today, I agreed (after all, other suggestions usually include major “chick flicks” like Coyote Ugly and Where The Heart Is). I was interested to see how they could take a comedy with dire undertones (after all, the main character has only 3 weeks to live) and make it worth watching.

Queen Latifah has been on a role lately in female-friendly films. With Beauty Shop (2005) and others under her belt, women are flocking to see her latest films. Guys aren’t scared away, either, as her films usually don’t involve as much man-bashing as a lot of other “romantic comedies” these days. Her films tend to focus more on female empowerment through being herself, rather than female empowerment at the expense of the males around her.

She seems to have found her niche in films, and she has become extremely comfortable in that type of role by the time she took over the role of Georgia Byrd in Last Holiday. While it’s not a new role for her by this point, she still manages to keep the viewer tuned in as she goes through her life change. She does a pretty good job of playing every woman, and both guys and gals will find her extremely likable. She’s someone who viewers could picture being friends with, and she promotes this in every film she makes. Definitely a switch from her old rap persona, isn’t it?

While there is a bit of romance in Last Holiday, it shouldn’t be enough to keep guys away from the film. LL Cool J and Queen Latifah seem to be the perfect on-screen couple, and there evolving relationship is entertaining to watch. From the first nervous chatter between these two the viewer wants to see more of them together.

Unfortunately, by the time they do meet again, it’s for a cliched dialogue that the viewer will see coming miles away. Despite this, their on-screen chemistry seems readily apparent, and it’s fun to watch the two of them together. Remember this pairing – it should appear on-screen again.

While the basic idea of a incurable disease and not much time to live has given rise to comedy before (anybody remember Joe Vs. The Volcano with his floating luggage?), Queen Latifah is able to breathe new life into the story, as she really seems to enjoy her newfound freedom from the everyday. Sure, the movie turns into a big cliche as she manages to change everyone’s life for the better, but the process is still fun to watch. Even if they do guess the ending almost before the movie begins.

While Last Holiday isn’t on my must-buy list, it’s a film that guys shouldn’t shy away from. True, the girls will probably love it more than the guys, but it should manage to elicit a few laughs from either sex.

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