Thursday, January 12, 2006

Last Holiday

Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Last Holiday
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 2006-01-13
Cast: Queen Latifah, Alicia Witt, LL Cool J , Giancarlo Esposito, Gerard Depardieu
Director: Wayne Wang
Screenwriter: Peter Seaman, Jeffrey Price, J. B. Priestly, Tim Korn, Callie Khouri, Marc Hyman, Martin Starger
Music Score: George Fenton
WorkNameSort: Last Holiday
Our Rating: 2.00

In this somnambulent remake of a 1950 Alec Guinness flick, Queen Latifah plays a department-store drone who learns that she's terminally ill and hightails it to Prague for one final orgy of high living (and cut-rate filmmaking). The movie's love affair with gluttony is as witless and drearily paced as its fish-out-of-water populism is bogus: Even after cashing in their life's savings, who in Da Queen's target demo could afford a consolation getaway to Baltimore, much less Europe? Initially repellent in its apparent philosophy that enjoying oneself to the fullest equals eating and spending like a fiend, the movie somewhat redeems itself with a late-arriving message that Latifah's Georgia Byrd is a "somebody" due to her good ideas and moral fiber. But the idea is only allowed to resonate properly after we've been repeatedly entreated to covet her luxurious digs and multicourse meals. There may be a workable middle ground between the milieus of Robin Leach and Dr. Phil, but this film sure isn't it. (PG-13)



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