Don't Hide Your Light Under a Bushel
Release Date: January 13, 2006
Starring: Queen Latifah, Timothy Hutton,
LL Cool J, Jane Adams, Gerard
Depardieu, and Susan Kellerman
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Director: Wayne Wang
Executive Producer: Robert Zemeckis, Richard Vane
and Steve Starkey
Producer: Jack Rapke and Laurence Mark
Writer: Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman
and J.B. Priestly
Address Comments To:Brad Grey, Chairman/CEO
Gail Berman, President
Motion Picture Group
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197
Phone: (323) 956-5000
Georgia Byrd is a shy clerk at Kragen's Dept. Store in New Orleans. She loves to cook, however, and puts recipes in a diary she calls her Possibilities Book. She also puts pictures of her romantic interest, Shawn, a handsome clerk also working at the store.
Though shy, Georgia is the best salesperson at the chain store, whose sales are slumping, despite the Christmas season. One day, while talking to Sean about cooking, she bumps her head really hard and faints. Sean takes her to the company doctor, who runs a cat scan on Georgia. The cat scan says Georgia has an uncommon brain disease. The company doctor and another physician tell her that she only has four weeks to live.
With no family, Georgia decides to use all her savings for a final trip to the fancy Swiss hotel where one of her favorite chefs, Chef Didier, cooks. She tries to tell her boss, but he is so concerned with his own conceited ambitions that she decides to quit right then and there.
At the hotel, who should she run into but the owner of her chain store, Mr. Kragen, who's trying to woo a Congressman and a Senator. At the hotel, Georgia splurges on food, clothing and the hotel's spa. Her splurging causes Kragen's party to think that Georgia is a rich businesswoman. Kragen, who's cheating on his wife with his personal assistant, begins to think she might even be an unknown competitor.
More comical complications ensue.
LAST HOLIDAY is the first feel-good, four-star movie of the New Year. It is very funny and heartwarming. Queen Latifah is a laugh riot as Georgia, but she also plays Georgia with a lot of warmth. Georgia is a Christian who belongs to a church with signs outside saying, "Put Christ back into Christmas" and "Jesus is the reason for the season." Georgia's terminal disease causes her to wonder what God is trying to do, but it becomes clear in the end that God has been on her side all along. Despite her disappointment and doubt over God allowing her to die so young, Georgia has a compassionate, no-nonsense spirit that cuts through the baloney that Kragen and his party dish out. She infuriates the adulterous Kragen, but the other members of his party find her charming. Thus, viewers will really root for this mostly upstanding character. Adding to the comical jeopardy is Sean learning the truth about Georgia's terminal diagnosis and deciding to follow Georgia to Europe, even though he is afraid of flying. It becomes clear during the story that he and Georgia were made for each other.
Some of the movie's content, however, is designed for mature teenagers and adults. For example, LAST HOLIDAY has plenty of foul language, about 20 mostly light obscenities. There are also a couple vulgar sexual innuendoes in the dialogue. The movie also has a message about living life to the fullest, but the message is used in a Romantic sense as well as a mild Christian sense. For example, Georgia decides that she's been too timid all her life, always waiting for the good times round the bend. When she thinks she is going to die so soon, she throws caution to the wind, until she learns better. Finally, there is a possible reference to reincarnation in one line of dialogue and a comical reference to Buddhism during the credits.
Ultimately, LAST HOLIDAY seems to teach the Christian principle that we shouldn't hide our light under a bushel. In fact, in the beginning of the movie, Gerogia's pastor tells her to sing more loudly in the choir because he can barely hear her.
LAST HOLIDAY is the first feel-good, four-star movie of the New Year. It is also very funny. Queen Latifah is a laugh riot as Georgia, but she also has lots of warmth. Best of all, Georgia is a Christian who talks to God often. It becomes clear in the end that, despite her illness and doubt, God has been on her side all along. The movie contains many light obscenities and a couple sexual innuendoes, however.