© United International Pictures GmbH

Noch einmal Ferien (Last Holiday)
Austria/Czech Republic/U.S.A. 2006

Opening 9 Mar 2006

Directed by: Wayne Wang
Writing credits: Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, J.B. Priestley
Principal actors: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, Gerard Depardieu, Giancarlo Esposito

In Last Holiday meek Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah), a sales clerk in a Louisiana department store is suddenly diagnosed with a terminal illness and given only four weeks to live.  Upon reflecting on her past and paging through a scrapbook in which she has pasted pictures of her dreams, her book of possibilities as she calls it, she suddenly realizes that she has been letting life pass her by.  So, in order to make up for lost time and realize a few of her dreams in the short amount of time she has left, she quits her job, withdraws her life’s savings from the bank and hops on an airplane to Prague.  For the first time in her life money is no object, and she experiences Europe in style, by flying first class and staying in the most expensive suite at the exclusive Hotel Pupp.  She also braves extreme sports for the first time in her life; after all, what does she have to lose?  Georgia lives life to the fullest and with confidence.  Dieing gives her a new outlook on life and she amazes and inspires everyone she meets, including the hotel’s master chef, Didier (Gerard Depardieu), Louisiana Senator Dillings (Giancarlo Esposito), the owner of her former workplace, Matthew Kragen (Timothy Hutton), the guy she has had a secret crush on for years, Sean Matthews (LL Cool J) and even the crotchety old housekeeper of the hotel, Ms. Gunther (Susan Kellerman).   Not only does Georgia finally learn to live, but everyone else around her does as well.   

Despite Georgia’s terminal illness, Last Holiday is not the least bit macabre but rather light, fun, and funny.  Queen Latifah is perfect in the role of Georgia and keeps the audience laughing and smiling throughout the film.  And although it is not atypical for an American comedy, and not of award caliber, Last Holiday is definitely very enjoyable and worth seeing.  I, and indeed the rest of the audience as well, left the theatre smiling and merry.  Last Holiday is a feel good movie, Queen Latifah style. (Shauna Keeley)

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