Story

Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) is a shy but well-liked employee in the cookware section of a Kragen Department store. She lives a quiet life, but keeps a ‘book of possibilities’, containing photos of great meals she has cooked but never eaten. She also fantasises about marrying her co-worker Sean Williams (LL Cool J). After a mishap at work in which she sustains a bad injury, Georgia undergoes a medical review. She is given the bad news that she has Lampington’s disease and has only three weeks to live.

Georgia decides to use her remaining time to fulfil some her ‘possibilities’. She withdraws all her money and goes for a last holiday to Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic, where she hopes to sample the fine cuisine of Chef Didier (Gérard Depardieu). Along the way, Georgia meets her former employer and tycoon Matthew Kragen (Timothy Hutton), his assistant (Alicia Witt), and her local senator and congressman (Giancarlo Esposito). As Georgia goes about fulfilling her new but pressing desire to live life to the fullest, she learns to appreciate the experiences that a life fully lived can bring. In the process, she changes the lives of those around her.

Themes

Life-threatening illness

Violence

There is one violent scene in this movie. Georgia becomes frustrated when her boss takes a phone call while she is trying to tell him about her bad news. She smashes his mobile phone with her shoe. This is shown in a comic light.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

  • Georgia is clearly upset and distraught when told of her prognosis. While in church, she asks God repeatedly ‘Why me?’ 
  • Georgia attempts several life-threatening activities, such as snowboarding and base-jumping, during which she briefly appears afraid. These scenes are shown in a humorous light.
  • Matthew Kragen is shown sitting high up on a window ledge while intoxicated. He appears to be contemplating suicide. Georgia, concerned for his welfare, joins him. Although there is minimal suspense in this scene, it might be worrying for younger children.

From 8-13

Some children in this age group could be disturbed by the scenes described above.

Over 13

Some adolescents could be concerned by the theme of a life-threatening illness and the depiction of someone considering suicide.

Sexual references

  • A work colleague looking at Sean comments, ‘You could crack a walnut on that ass’.
  • The same colleague goes on to say, ‘You’re scared of someone holding your booty. He could hold my booty anytime’.
  • While dazed from her head injury, Georgia imagines Sean ogling her and trying to kiss her.
  • Georgia catches the married Matthew Kragen kissing his assistant in a hotel elevator.
  • Georgia later tells the assistant, ‘You keep going down on Mr Kragen and he’s a married man’. The assistant replies, ‘Is it that obvious I’m sleeping with him?’

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

  • After Georgia receives her diagnosis, there are two occasions, at home and on the plane, where she is seen to be ‘drinking her sorrows away’. She is not intoxicated on either occasion.
  • During meals at the hotel, all the main characters are seen to be drinking wine, but not to the point of intoxication.
  • Late in the movie, Kragen is shown to be drunk and continuing to drink from a bottle of spirits while sitting high up on a hotel window ledge.

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Coke, Nike and Columbia (outdoor clothing brand).

Coarse language

This movie contains frequent mild to medium-level coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Last Holiday is a comedy about the repercussions of a shy woman deciding to live life to its fullest. Younger viewers might enjoy the slapstick and broad nature of the comedy. Older girls might appreciate the array of costume changes of the lead character. Adults might find the storyline contrived and the comedy often forced, but the performances of the lead characters are largely appealing. Also, the locations in the Czech Republic are beautiful.

The main message from this movie is to live life to its fullest and to not be afraid of life. Also ‘it’s not how you start but how you finish’ in life that is important.

You might like to talk about the values in this movie, such as:

  • friendship and loyalty
  • the importance of treating everyone as an equal and with respect no matter what their station in life
  • staying true to your beliefs and responsibilities.

You could also discuss some of the characters’ attitudes such as Kragen’s mantra to ‘take the loser inside you and beat the crap out of it’ and Georgia’s obstructive and defiant behaviour in the plane. You could talk about whether these are values you would hold. Two other issues you could discuss are infidelity and using alcohol to ease your troubles.