Eye For Film >> Movies >> Lost Holiday (2019) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
It's wintertime. Margaret (Kate Lyn Sheil) and Henry (Thomas Matthews) have travelled from New York to Washington DC to get some downtime. This involves catching up with old friends, doing drugs with strangers and straying into the path of a wealthy socialite whom Margaret instantly dislikes (to be fair, she seems to dislike most people). When a news announcer reveals the next day that said socialite has gone missing, Margaret is instantly intrigued. She doesn't want to risk getting in trouble by going to the police. Instead, she wants Henry to accompany her as she tries to track down the missing woman herself. Henry's objection? It will spoil their holiday.
Somewhere between Margaret's in-your-face, obsessive enthusiasm and Henry's intermittently sulky and manic sidekickery, comedy is expected to emerge. One can see the shape of it but even at its most overt it never quite succeeds in generating laughter. Both leads are quite sweet. Margaret's hatefulness comes across as a combination of youthful certainty and naivety, an inability to connect with other people's feelings or emotions. She provides Henry with somebody to hide behind and a source of adventure. Together they leave a trail a destruction that might, in more capable hands, have great comic and dramatic potential, yet somehow it all falls a bit flat.
What's missing here is any real sense of stylistic conviction. The performances are fairly decent given the material. The technical work is variable but could be a lot worse given the constraints of the budget. There's next to no tension, however, and for most of the film's running time we just seem to drift from place to place. Lost Holiday seems to be a film made for the sake of making a film. To succeed, comedy needs passion, attitude or something to say.
The quirkiness of the film may appeal to some viewers and its tendency to flip from one idea to another could mean it has the right kind of craziness for people on drugs. There are some genuinely entertaining moments towards the end when Margaret tries to cope with a series of dangerous situations despite being on acid - though it's different in tone viewers may be reminded of the methamphetamine job interview sequence in Trainspotting. This is the only point at which the film really comes into its own and it's a hint at what might have been. One hopes that, if nothing else, putting this film together will give its writer/directors the confidence to approach their next work with more gusto.Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2019