out of Five
Running time: 105
Disappointing, badly written drama that just about stays watchable thanks to a likeable performance from Queen Latifah.
What’s it all about?
Queen Latifah stars as Georgia Byrd, a department store sales assistant who nurses a crush on fellow employee LL Cool J and dreams of becoming a chef. However, when she’s mistakenly diagnosed with a terminal illness Georgia decides that she’s going to go out in style and takes her dream holiday.
She stays in a swanky resort in Europe, hoping to meet her idol, the hotel’s resident chef, Chef Didier (Gerard Depardieu).
Last holiday is actually based on a 1950 classic starring Alec Guinness, meaning that the titles include the amusing credit Based on a screenplay by J.B Preistley
. The sound you hear is probably Priestly turning in his grave.
It’s clear that Queen Latifah is a proper, old school movie star – the camera loves her and her constantly upbeat screen persona is extremely likeable. It’s just a shame that studios don’t seem able to find a decent vehicle for her talents.
The main problem with the film is that it’s never sure whether to concentrate on the comedy or the drama. As a result, the supposedly funny bits fall flat and the dramatic scenes lack weight. It’s also badly written, for example the officious concierge character is such a caricature that she seems to have wandered in from another movie altogether.
If you’re a fan of Queen Latifah then it’s probably worth waiting for the DVD, but this is a disappointing experience all round.
Last Holiday (PG)