Last Holiday is certainly good for two things. It provides Queen Latifah fans with more of her strong and likeable performances, and it’s an enticing travel brochure to visit exquisite European getaways.
In this remake of the 1950 film that starred Alec Guinness in the lead role, department store clerk Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) discovers she has only three to four weeks left to live. So she says goodbye to her annoying boss, a heartfelt “we’ll see” to Sean (LL Cool J) her coworker she’d really like to get to know better, and quits her job.
LL Cool J
Georgia’s entire life has been reduced to her “Book of Possibilities” scrap book, where she keeps exotic recipes she cooks for her and her neighbor boy, Darius (Jascha Washington), and images of romantic places and people with her and Sean’s pictures pasted on the models.
Now it’s time she live in the remaining weeks she has left. So Georgia cashes in her IRA and heads to the Czech Republic and the posh Grandhotel Pupp. So what if it cost $4,000 a night for the Presidential suite? It’s just the right place for her to enjoy her last days.
From shop-til-she-drops, to parasailing and snowboarding, Georgia tries it all. Soon the hotel staff is in love with this mysterious woman; her adversaries, including the Senator (Giancarlo Esposito) from her home town, are intrigued and famed French Chef Didier (Gerard Depardieu, who is delightful in his role) is excited that she wants to eat everything he cooks – just the way he prepares it. Georgia is soon a sassy, classy chick, reborn as only Queen Latifah could accomplish.
The only one not batting eyes at Georgia is retail industrialist Matthew Kragen (Timothy Hutton) who just happens to own the company from which she just quit. But in the end Georgia turns even his world upset down.
Director Wayne Wang’s (The Joy Luck Club), who lately has gone more for films with simpler themes, won’t win Oscar nods, but with Latifah on board there’s plenty of laughs and heart, both good reasons to get Last Holiday on DVD.
● Three featurettes: Last Holiday: Packing Light – Wayne Wang and his cast talk about the fear of giving up your life and things you would want to do before that happened. The cast also talks about working with Wang. Last Holiday: Last Look – Wayne talks about his production and how he wanted it to look and be photographed. They crew discusses the differences in shooting between the French Quarter and in Europe. Last Holiday: 23 Years in the Making – Producer Laurence Mark talks about how long the film took to make, and how he put it into development in the 1980s and it became a 23 year projects. Details are revealed.
● Deleted Scenes
● Two Recipes from the movie – Poulet Tchoupitoulas and Banana’s Foster – yum, you’ll want to try that one for sure!
● Theatrical Trailer
● Widescreen version – English, French, Spanish
Photo Credits: Paramount Home Enterainment