As Mark Twain once said, “don’t quote me in any shitty films, okay?” I mean, he clearly didn’t, but the way Holidaze invents a life story for him I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and attribute random shit to him too. After all, it’s Twain’s words which Mel uses in her big business pitch, so her company Save More can open a branch in her hometown of Streetsville. Fair enough, slapping a famous writer over your words probably does distract from the sheer laziness of the writers in coming up with a town name. Seriously? Streetsville? You honestly thought people would-oh. Oh okay, I’ve just been informed that Streetsville is the name of a town in Canada. I’m sorry, guys. No judgement, sure it’s lovely.
Anyway, Mel’s big-shot business brain doesn’t have time to worry about Streetsville or what the new Save More will do to its independent business owners. She’s too busy hanging out in generic cocktail bars with her vaguely European friends, and having casual relationships. There’s a man who says he’d prefer his feet planted firmly under her as a prelude to sex and I’m not sure what that means but it’s a confusing enough mental image for it to be a centre-spread in Cosmo, so she must be urbane. Unfortunately, Mel has to swap all of this for her old life, when she falls down some stairs and wakes up in Streetsville. It’s the classic alternate universe where she married her high school sweetheart and runs a coffee shop! Thankfully, her knowledge of Save More means when her own shop and home are threatened by the new branch, she can save the day. That and Mark Twain, because apparently he owned Streetsville land? Yeah, that’s a new one to historians too.
The moral of this film is apparently not to advance your own position. From wanting to leave home and find a well-paid business, Mel has to “realise” her dreams are actually staying with her first serious relationship and ignoring the fact that she and hubby have very little in common. College sweethearts can be together forever, sure, but these two are clearly not a healthy relationship. There’s this one sequence where he minorly obsesses over her and she gets a sadistic thrill out of it. Love? Close enough, marriage saved!
Despite not being very festive (it barely lingers on Thanksgiving, Christmas doesn’t even get a look in), there’s a lot of bad film fodder. Enjoyable crap ranges from the copy and paste script templates (“As a [STATE CAREER], I have to say [OPINION]”), to wild slapstick when Mel reaches the end of her spiritual journey and promptly falls down the stairs again. Classic. Mark Twain takes the biscuit though, and matched with dictionary definitions of words (they do this at least three times in regular conversation, I never knew we were meant to be that well-rehearsed with the OED) the film carries itself with the air of a poor 2000-word assignment on “my favourite writer shoehorned into a modern setting”.
Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.