Stars: 4.5 / 5
The Holiday is a 2006 American romantic comedy film starring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and Jude Law. This is another one of those movies that I love to watch and always cheers me up in whatever kind of down mood I might be or adds more cheer to me if I am already in an up and up mood. The plot revolves mainly around these four characters with a few of them supporting.
Amanda Woods (portrayed by Cameron Diaz) is the owner of a prospering Los Angeles advertising film creating movie trailers. She breaks up with her live-in boyfriend Ethan Ebbers (portrayed by Edward Burns) when she discovers that he was cheating on her with his 24-year old secretary. Iris Simpkins (portrayed by Kate Winslet) is a society column editor for The Daily Telegraph in London and has been in love with Jasper Bloom (portrayed by Rufus Sewell). However she becomes despair about how her life is turning after Jasper announces his engagement with one of the "other woman" he had had a relationship with on the side.
Both of them decide to go online and take a holiday when they come across a home swap website. After looking at each other's homes online, they decide to swap their homes for two weeks. Amanda travels to Surrey in England to Iris's home and feels disappointed with the quiet life there. Just as she books a flight to go back home, Iris's brother Graham Simpkins (portrayed by Jude Law) comes to the cottage to sleep his drunken stupor off. Graham is a book editor and a single father of two little girls Sophie and Olivia. The attraction between them sizzles and sparks and they end up sleeping together.
In Los Angeles, Iris is impressed and absolutely delighted by Amanda's luxurious home. She meets with Miles Dumont (portrayed by Jack Black), a friend of Ethan Ebbers who had come to retrieve some of his stuff. She also meets Arthur Abbott (portrayed by Eli Wallach) who was s screenwriter during the Golden Age of Hollywood with quite a few Oscars under his belt.
Thus the plot continues where both Amanda and Iris make new life in the two weeks of their vacation, have a change of heart within them as well as folks around them, fall in love and eventually make life-altering decisions.
The story is really sweet with enough romance and comedy mixed together. No over the board acting by any of the actors and no major glitches or hiccups that would make the viewer pause to think about their choice. The scene where Amanda (Diaz) runs in snow in heels, I thought was so illogical. Who runs in snow wearing heels? However, looks like Cameron Diaz actually did that scene for real. Amazingly athletic she is. The movie is set in Los Angeles, CA, USA and Surrey, England giving the viewers a feast of two contrasting worlds for their senses to enjoy. That perhaps was the most successful factor for this movie along with the star cast. Although Hallmark had produced one or two movies of similar plot for their Christmas movies airing on their Movies and Mysteries channel, this is the one that I like the most.
Do watch it if you come across either on TV or on Netflix or Youtube or any other source of media.
1. One of Amanda's movie trailer has Lindsay Lohan and James Franco starring for the movie Deception.
1. Kate Winslet had watched a lot of screwball comedies from the 1940s like The Philadelphia Story (Check out my review on this movie here) and His Girl Friday (Another movie to add to my review list) in preparation to act in these movies. Her preparation paid out. She had finally got out of the stamp of starring only in period films.
2. So did Jude Law. After being portrayed in several science fiction and period movies, his chance to get out into a different role was this film. He watched a lot of Clark Gable movies in preparation for his role. He fit in very nicely into the role. One of the reasons why I adore Jude Law. :)
3. I remember Rufus Sewell in the CBS drama The Eleventh Hour based on the UK TV Series of the same name. However the series was cancelled after Season I due its failure to capture audience and ratings. But I had liked Rufus in that very much so it was hard to see him as a Casanova in this movie. Not that he didn’t play the part, he did, but it was hard.
4. Dustin Hoffman appears as himself in the video rental store where Miles (Black) was mimicking the soundtrack of famous movies to Iris (Winslet). According to Wiki, this was an unscripted and unexpected event as Dustin Hoffman had just walked into the store seeing all the lights at the blockbuster store. And thus he got pulled into the scene.
Never could get what Dustin Hoffman's dialogue was in the movie.
6. Some of the movies on similar plot aired on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel:
a. Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas - a 2011 Christmas film that leads cross-country romance when Charles Johnson (an English professor and writer struggling with writer's block) and Emily Spengler (a single mom who goes to Boston to be with her daughter for the holidays) swap houses, find their destiny and love.
b. Finding Christmas: a 2013 Christmas film where two men - Owen (a small town handyman and musician) and Sean (who runs a New York City advertising agency) - swap houses during the holidays and find love.
7. The British rock band, Wombats, after watching the movie The Holiday, wrote their hit song "Kill the Director" as they had hated this movie.
8. The cottage Iris (Winslet) lives in is called as Rose Hill Cottage - a homage to Kate Winslet's role as Rose in the 1997 blockbuster hit film Titanic.
9. Amanda's stack of books on the plane to England are: "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, "Atonement" by Ian McEwan, "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling, "Bob Dylan Chronicles" by Bob Dylan, "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen, "Runaway" by Alice Munro, "The Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Journeys and Conversations" by The Dalai Lama and Chan Victor.
10. One of the books featured in Jude Law's character's library in his home is John Irving's "The Hotel New Hampshire"