There is a feel good movie that I have never tired of watching, no matter how many times I’ve seen it. It stars Queen Latifa and a slew of other people that I know from one place or another and it is not afraid to be bold. That movie is Last Holiday. While it is a remake, this is one of those times where I simply approve of the new one over the old one.
Georgia Byrd is a shy, introverted woman who works in retail at a store that looks to be a cross between a Walmart and Mall of America. She lives her days in a routine, working, going to church for choir practice, going to a market, walking home, and making a delicious meal for the kid next door which she won’t eat. Georgia has a crush on one of the men who works in her store, Sean Williams (LL Cool J.) and when he finally decides to talk to her, Georgia bumps her head and is given a CAT scan at the behest of the store doctor, Dr. Gupta (Ranjit Chowdhry) and this is where our plot truly starts to pick up.
Georgia’s scans reveal a fatal brain tumor that has snuck its way in despite her feeling no different. Faced with only a few weeks of life left, Georgia decides to quit her job, liquidate her funds, and do anything and everything that she has been too afraid to do in her life. So she flies to a beautiful hotel to take the vacation she had always dreamed about but had never taken the time to go on. Things begin to take a drastic turn for Georgia Byrd, and she powers through them with ease and grace.
At Grand Hotel Pupp, Georgia is faced with the kind of people that most will never be able to interact with while also causing a whirlwind of chaos as she does what she feels to try and enjoy the last days of her life. Having spent her whole life quiet, Georgia now knows that there is no time to waste being quiet and it is this new attitude that draws the attention of Senator Dillings (Giancarlo Esposito), Congressman Stewart (Michael Nouri), Ms. Burns (Alicia Witt), Chef Didier (Gerard Depardieu), and the ire of Matthew Kragen (Timothy Hutton). Georgia, however, never lets anything faze her for long and continues to go about enjoying her vacation as she makes new, interesting friends and performs thrilling feats.
Last Holiday is a feel good movie in my opinion, and it has a theme that is too important to pass up; never waste a moment being something you aren’t. Georgia, when she learns she is going to die, refuses to people please any longer as she had spent her whole life doing that. She decided to enjoy her life, do what she wanted, say what she wanted, and never once regretted a decision that she made. Life is too short and even if Georgia’s diagnosis was wrong and she did get to live, she never, ever let that lesson go for the rest of her life.