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The Holiday

January 27, 2021

The Holiday (2006)
Director: Nancy Meyers
Actors: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law

The Holiday – review | cast and crew, movie star rating and where to watch  film on TV and online

Synopsis: Unlucky-in-love ladies, Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), escape their woes by house-swapping with each other over the Christmas holiday. Amanda goes to Iris’ cute cottage in the Surrey countryside, and Iris travels to Amanda’s flash LA mansion, Unsurprisingly, new romantic possibilities emerge for both women.

Review: This thoroughly preposterous, utter bourgeois fantasy of a romantic comedy has its devotees, but even as the guiltiest of guilty sins, its treacly confection is far beyond my palate.

As ever with a Nancy Meyers film, it’s framed in that deluxe, hazy white glow, and all the characters have lifestyles and first-world problems one can only dream of. Cameron Diaz is a niche editor of film previews, living a life of luxury in a palatial LA mansion, and even Kate Winslet’s supposed mousy, lovelorn Brit lives the kind of upper middle-class life very few of us in Britain would actually recognise. She’s a features editor for the Daily Telegraph and commutes each day to her eccentrically snug cottage in a picture book Surrey village that just happens to be graced with the most picturesque snow (snow at Christmas, particularly in the south of England, is an extremely rare event these days.)

To be fair, Meyers’ films have an intentional farcical quality and a knowingness about their essential ridiculousness – this distinguished the most likeable of her films, It’s Complicated. However, that doesn’t excuse that Meyers is positioning The Holiday as a drama as much as it is a comedy, and, dare I say, she’s trying to frame this as something of a modern woman’s picture. That aspiration is more than undersold by the cartoon cut-out rascally men (especially Rufus Sewell’s ludicrous cad called ‘Jasper’!), and the fact that these women are not positioned in any way as real, recognisable people, but as patronising Bridget Jones-screwball stereotypes. Diaz’s character is first introduced wackily throwing shoes at her cheating boyfriend, and Winslet’s love-lorn voiceover and the audio of her pathetic tears being amplified when she closes the door to her cottage in the early part of the narrative, immediately diminished my expectation that these women will be defined by anything other than their relationship with men. (January 2021)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2021 6:02 pm

    I think it was a pretty disposable and forgettable romcom movie. Too sappy and syrupy for my tastes.

  2. June 21, 2021 6:55 am

    It’s a great x-mas classic like it or not. It’s a ‘feel good’ fantasy, and there is nothing wrong with that. Enough boring wokeness already.

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