Last Holiday

Last Holiday

Queen Latifah
Director: Wayne Wang Cast: Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah
, LL Cool J
LL Cool J
, Timothy Hutton
Timothy Hutton
Wayne Wang

DVD (Wide Screen)

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A woman learns to love life when she finds out she won't be around long in this comedy. Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) lives in New Orleans, where she works in the cookware department of an upscale gourmet supply shop. While Georgia carries a torch for Sean (LL Cool J), one of her co-workers, she doesn't have the nerve to tell him, and despite her estimable skills in the kitchen, she lives frugally and doesn't put her talent to use. Georgia's good friend Rochelle (Jane Adams) often tells her that life is short and she needs to live a little, but she doesn't pay her much mind until a visit to the doctor reveals that Georgia has a very rare medical condition, and only has three weeks to live. Throwing caution to the wind, Georgia cashes out her life savings and heads to Europe for a last bit of revelry. She checks into a four-star hotel, trades her drab clothes for haute couture, finds herself flirting with a handsome and powerful politician (Giancarlo Esposito), convinces the head of a cooking supplies firm (Timothy Hutton) that she's a high-powered executive from a rival company, and makes friends with a four-star chef (Gérard Depardieu). But when Sean learns the truth about Georgia's condition, he sets out to find her before their chance at romance has passed. Directed by Wayne Wang, Last Holiday is a remake of a 1950 British comedy, which starred Alec Guinness as a salesman with a few weeks to live.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse

Unlikely as it sounds, the source of this raucous Queen Latifah vehicle can be traced to a wry, and decidedly cynical J. B. Priestley screenplay originally filmed in 1950 with Alec Guinness in the lead role. Aside from the gender reversal, the basic story remains the same; but the 2006 version has been buffed to such a dazzling sheen that Priestley’s rough edges have all but disappeared. Latifah plays New Orleans department-store clerk Georgia Byrd, whose minor head injury is misdiagnosed as a terminal illness that gives her just a few weeks to live. Determined to make the most of whatever time remains to her, Georgia quits her job and takes the dream vacation she always wanted, going overseas to a posh European resort. She makes indelible impressions on everyone she meets, including the obnoxious retail magnate (Timothy Hutton) in whose store she worked for so long. Director Wayne Wang (Maid in Manhattan) exhibits a flair for the slick, common-woman-shows-wealthy-snobs-what-life-is-all-about comedy that animates this predictable farce. The supporting cast -- which includes one of Latifah’s hip-hop contemporaries, LL Cool J, as well as versatile character actor Giancarlo Esposito -- provide ample backup to the leading lady. But make no mistake, this is the Queen's film. The dusty situations and gags seem fresh when the always-game Latifah goes through her paces; she’s all that and a whole lot more.

All Movie Guide

There's a problem casting Queen Latifah in such a light-hearted comedy with such a downbeat premise. On the one hand, the character needs to grieve and bemoan her sudden change in circumstances; on the other, the actress must display the kind of contagious, carefree attitude that plays well in trailers. Last Holiday doesn't achieve this balance, offering only a few throwaway moments of introspection to remind viewers of the stakes, but it should appeal plenty well to Latifah's fans. For one, it celebrates the "big is beautiful" ethos Latifah brings to most of her roles, making her frumpy department-store clerk the improbable love interest for hunky LL Cool J -- even before she's transformed by her new carpe diem confidence. If Wayne Wang's film were content just being a romantic character study of a terminal patient finding her bliss, that would be one thing. But to beef up the plot, Latifah's profligate spending gets her confused for a person of influence, and her idyllic ski resort becomes backdrop for a mistaken-identity farce involving a billionaire (Timothy Hutton), his mistress, and a handful of other acquaintances, inexplicably and coincidentally transplanted to Eastern Europe. In the process, the film's original intention is hijacked by the reliable Hollywood chestnut that a straight-talking outsider can always purify wayward souls. And just so there's never a moment's doubt about either Latifah's world-class appeal or the enlightenment of her European hosts, everyone who meets her is utterly enchanted, leaving only Hutton to bitterly resent all the attention. Last Holiday goes down easily enough, but by playing it too safe, Wang proves unworthy of Latifah's natural charisma, which could have fueled a much better film.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/01/2017
UPC: 0032429257413
Original Release: 2006
Rating: PG-13
Source: Paramount
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time: 1:51:00
Sales rank: 4,433

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