Last Holiday

Rated 3.0

A shy, unassuming department-store clerk (Queen Latifah) learns that she has only three weeks to live and decides to blow all her money on a $4,000-a-night stay at a swanky European hotel, where she’s regarded as a mysterious, eccentric American millionaire. The old Alec Guinness comedy (written by J.B. Priestley) is refashioned by writers Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman to fit Queen Latifah, and the results are surprisingly effective: funny, touching and heartwarming all at once. Director Wayne Wang keeps things on an even keel, with good supporting performances from LL Cool J as Latifah’s romantic interest, Timothy Hutton as a corporate villain and Alicia Witt as Hutton’s secretary/mistress. In this age of unacknowledged remakes, kudos to Wang and company for giving full credit to Priestley.