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The Holiday (2006) --- With Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black

Jan 1, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:very well written, hilarious in many instances, extremely interesting characters, strong story


The Bottom Line: A well written film that blends humor, drama, and a touch of endearment with great acting, this is a film well worth watching.

In The Holiday, both Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet play women who have been irked by the opposite sex in their current lives. Diaz plays Amanda, a movie-trailer creator and editor who lives in Los Angeles, California. The relationship between she and her live-in boyfriend Ethan (Ed Burns) has become strained, and an argument ensues when Ethan comes home very late one night. When she discovers that he has been cheating on her, she kicks him to the curb, and swears off men, feeling she is better off living her life alone. Kate Winslet plays Iris, a woman living in England, and working as an editor in a popular publishing company. Her story, is that she has nurtured a crush on an ex-boyfriend co-worker (Rufus Sewell), which has nearly consumed her for the past three years. When he was done with the relationship, he moved on, but her love has continued, driving her nuts every time that they have to interact within the office.

With both women finding themselves stressed as the holiday season comes upon them, they look for a way to escape, and find themselves sharing an interest in getting out of town for a while. Due to a web-site that Iris has used to offer her house for 2 weeks in exchange for her going to someone else's home, Amanda stumbles across the idea of swapping homes for the next two weeks. Feeling that a trip to the England countryside, where Iris says there are no available men, sounds like a good idea, the two women area to exchange homes for their winter vacations. It seems like a great idea, because they are both able to step outside of their own lives for a short while, and to come to terms with how they want to live their lives. Amanda now has the opportunity to focus on something other than work and men for a short while, and Iris has the chance to enjoy a mansion while not coming into contact with the crush she wants to get over. On the surface it seems they have found exactly what they need, but both women obviously just need a change within their own lives.

This is a of course a romantic comedy, so in order for that to work, there has to be some romance thrown into the story. For that, the story puts Jude Law in the path of Amanda, and Jack Black as a composer that Iris comes across in the states. From this point the women are able to see that there is more out there than the relationships she had previously had, and by living outside of their own lives, they are able to retrospectively see what else is out in the world. It becomes a very endearing story, as both the characters of Iris and Amanda are well crafted, and as the story progresses, there is extreme development in what we get to learn about the two leading roles. This really draws the audience into a story like this, because it helps to be able to care about what they are going through, and to honestly hope that everything turns out well for them. In that regard, the writing was really well done for the film, and I was impressed with how well we got to learn about both Amanda and Iris.

Written and Directed by Nancy Meyers, I really think that she knows her stuff. With other writing credits such as Father of the Bride (1991), Something's Gotta Give, and Private Benjamin on her resume, this is the latest lovable film that she has had complete control in bringing to audiences. With The Holiday, I think that Meyers did a super job at creating lead characters that were very interesting to watch, and brought with them a great screen presence. The strong story was supported by great acting from Diaz and Winslet, and provided a vehicle for Law and Black to turn in what I felt were some of their best performances to date. This is a film that some may pass-over because it might seem like a "chick-flick", but I would say that you should give it a chance, and you may enjoy it as much as this reviewer did. The Holiday was fun, it was energetic, and above everything else, it was very enjoyable. It was very entertaining, and I give it a very high recommendation.

Recommend this product? Yes

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