DVD Review: Last Holiday
Release Date: May 2, 2006
· Wayng Wang
· Queen Latifah
· LL Cool J
· Timothy Hutton
· Alicia Witt
· Gerard Depardieu
· IMDb: Last Holiday
· Cinema Spider: Last Holiday
by R.J. Carter
Published: April 28, 2006
Queen Latifah shines in this heartwarming comedy that follows in the footsteps of "Cinderella" and "Pretty Woman". Georgia Byrd (Latifah) is an introverted store clerk for Kragen's Department Stores. She doesn't sing out very loudly in the church choir. She doesn't approach the man she has a crush on, co-worker Sean Matthews (played with aplomb by LL Cool J). And she doesn't talk back to her bullying boss even though she's the best salesperson the entire chain has.
When she bumps her head at work, she's rushed to the on-site HMO-approved cut-rate medical facility, where a CAT scan on a used machine indicates she has a number of tumors in her brain. The diagnosis is that she now only has three weeks to live. Georgia is determined to take her dreams that she's been putting off and live them all in the next three weeks. Cashing in the IRA and bonds she inherited from her mother, she takes off for a European ski chalet, where her blue-collar wisdom takes the diamond-studded crowd by storm. Among the richest of the rich in attendance are a Senator and a congressman being courted by Matthew Kragen (Hutton), a self-help guru and the owner of the department store chain Georgia used to work for. Georgia's unabashed verve for life (given her newfound respect for it, now that she believes she's losing it) and her unexpected respect to the hotel staff gain her the admiration of almost everyone except Kragen, whose determined to crack the mystery behind Georgia Byrd.
"Last Holiday" has funny moments, but it is largely (and to its credit) a collection of satisfying ones. Seeing Georgia gain a new confidence and come out of her coccoon will have audiences on her side from start to finish. I do think, however, that the film might have enjoyed better sales if the release had been held over until Christmas, as it is set between the Christmas and New Years time frame.
Everyone follows Georgia's crazy risks at the roulette table.
L-R: Alicia Witt, Giancarlo Esposito, Queen Latifah, and
The special features are the to-be-expected set of behind-the-scenes minifilms, where the cast and crew talk about the making of certain scenes, the juxtaposition of urban New Orleans against the European fashions, and the long, long road the script had from its initial inception to the finished product. There are also two recipes taken from the film and reproduced here so that you can recreate the Poulet Tchoupitoulas and Bananas Foster in your own home.
Previews on this disc include "Elizabethtown", "Neil Young: Heart of Gold", "Failure to Launch", "All You've Got", and "The Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary DVD Collection".
Audio setup allows for English 5.1 Surround, English 2.0 Surround, and French, with optional subtitles in English and Spanish.
"Last Holiday Packing Light" (15:25)
"Last Holiday Last Look" (7:45)
"Last Holiday 23 Years in the Making" (7:10)
Deleted Scenes (2:21)
Recipes from Last Holiday