Watch the trailer

Rehashed storyline and shtick spoils this one

“CZECH THIS OUT!” <br>Queen Latifah, LL Cool J and Gerard Deparieu are up to some zany shenanigans in the Czech Republic in Last Holiday<i>.</i>

Queen Latifah, LL Cool J and Gerard Deparieu are up to some zany shenanigans in the Czech Republic in Last Holiday.

Last Holiday
Starring Queen Latifah and LL Cool J. Directed by Wayne Wang. Rated PG-13.
Rated 3.0

For me, sometimes the socio-political aspects of a film are more entertaining than the movie itself. While not interminable—and even in its own odd sort of way comfortable—Queen Latifah’s new vehicle is pretty much nothing more than recycled goods. But the audience I was with ate it up like free cheesecake, squealing with laughter at such weird moments as LL Cool J slogging through the snow muttering, “I hate snow.”

Sorry, don’t get it. Where’s the funny?

The premise is nothing new: some working class-type is misdiagnosed with a fatal disease that guarantees their demise within a month and compels them to live life large within the few remaining days left. Is that a spoiler? No … unless you’ve lived under a rock most of your life. If you have, then this is the movie for you.

Before you get all bent out of shape, consider the trailer for this movie. Within three minutes, you get the entire thing played out in Reader’s Digest condensed form: A retiring department store “sales associate” dreams large and lives small, crushing on a co-worker (the aforementioned Mr. J), until she is diagnosed with one of those diseases that allow the victim to glow vibrantly as they have a whirlwind fling with life before they succumb within the month. As tradition goes, this affords her the opportunity to withdraw her savings and jet off to the Czech Republic to install herself in a lush resort to play out her presumed final days in the lap of her dreams. Why the Czech Republic? I dunno, maybe to explore unexplored bad puns: Czeching out, perhaps. Actually, it’s just damned cheap to film there … with the added bonus of an actual resort called Grandhotel Pupp (pronounced poop for extra built-in comedy gold). Her bon vivante approach to everything charms the Whitman’s Sampler of Euro-cliches trotted out here, and then LL shows up to drop the news that he digs her, too. By the way, a fax awaits letting her know that she was misdiagnosed.

I generally consider myself a hack, but then things like this show up to make me feel like an elitist. What the hell were these people around me laughing at? But then, I hate Adam Sandler movies, too, so whatever.

Generally, I go out of my way to avoid spoilers. Here, I haven’t said anything that wasn’t revealed or implied in the trailer. Well, aside from the fact that she gets a fax. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie … albeit in truncated form.