Michael Rock’s Hot Take on Fairhaven High ‘Holdovers’ Movie
I wanted to like it. In fact, I wanted to love it. I wanted it to be the "instant Christmas classic" that some of the early reviews called it. However, after seeing the Paul Giamatti movie, The Holdovers, I just can't get onboard.
The movie had it all going for it. First and foremost, I loved the fact that Fairhaven High School was the backdrop for the movie. That was (and is) special.
I am a big fan of Paul Giamatti. He's got one of the best yells in the business. A Giamatti film isn't complete until one of his signature yells. Yes, The Holdovers had it.
However, if we're going to be honest, I was hoping to see a lot more of Fairhaven High in the film. We saw the stairs and stained glass inside the stately school. We saw the gorgeous Knipe Auditorium, historic Room 7, and really not much more. It's incredible to think about the very short scenes that utilized Fairhaven High School took days and days to film.
The fictional Barton Academy took 5 schools in total to put together. If you weren't aware of the Fairhaven connection, it would be 100% possible to watch the movie and totally miss the fact that FHS was in it.
The real problem I have with The Holdovers, though, is the story. I'm going to be very careful not to give anything away, here. There was terrific character development, but the story didn't unfold the way I wanted it to. I admit, maybe it's me. I am baffled by the number of people in my newsfeed that really enjoyed the movie, calling it funny. Funny? I don't know how anyone could watched this movie and laugh. The characters are going through trauma from beginning to end. It's a Greek tragedy.
If you enjoy dark, depressing holiday movies, The Holdovers is your movie.
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