– Summary –
Director : Nancy Meyers
Year Of Release : 2006
Principal Cast : Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, Jude Law, Rufus Sewell, Eli Wallach
Synopsis: Two women, both in desperate need of escape from the men in their lives, swap houses for a fortnight: one lives in rural England, the other in swanky LA.
What we think : Syrupy, well intended rom-com is dramatically light, yet weirdly engaging thanks to the performances of the two leading ladies – Winslet and Diaz deliver roles that will appeal to just about any woman finding herself juggling a career, a relationship and the emotional weight of both. The male roles are underwritten, but the film doesn’t suffer for it.
If you’re looking for a romantic comedy you can watch with your mum in the room, then this is quite possibly the one for you. The Holiday is an innocuous, lite-weight comedic affair, with delightful central performances from the two female leads. Kate Winslet does her utmost as the most personable character, Iris, whose unrequited love for her fellow newspaper columnist (Sewell) sees her flee to LA to escape her masochistic idealism. Amanda (Diaz), a film trailer editor in LA, has man troubles of her own, as well as a unique ability not to be able to cry, and decides on a whim to go to England for a break. Iris and Amanda swap houses for two weeks, with Amanda meeting (and falling for) Iris’s handsome brother (Jude Law, in ingratiatingly suave form), while Iris meets (and falls for) a young Hollywood composer (Jack Black, in less leering comedic form, thankfully) – all set around Christmas time.
Some lopsided characterisation (and acting by Diaz) in the film doesn’t spoil the simple, elegant sweetness this wonderful Christmas themed flick enjoys. Engaging, romantic, with subtle hint of adult humour and a swipe at various flavours of seedy men (and women, in a less obvious way), The Holiday is a delightful romp for Winslet and Diaz that neither offends nor offers any real enlightenment on life. The dramatic equivalent of diet Coke, this film will satisfy the least discerning romcom fan, make men’s teeth grate from the next room, and no doubt a sell a whole bunch of tissue boxes at the pivotal moments of story climaxes. It’s a fun film, a frothy, capable mix of zesty charm and snowbound English romance, although the obvious character assassinations occurring on almost every level keep this from being an absolute smash. Still, it’s better than anything Jennifer Lopez has put out recently, right?
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