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Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Holiday

The Holiday (2006)
Dir: Nancy Meyers
Starring: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black

This is a romantic comedy at its fluffiest, a chick flick at its sugariest. And it's wonderful. It's a Christmas flick, but it's not really about Christmas, so you can watch it after Christmas. Bonus!

Iris is a sweet, sensible English girl (well, woman) who is hopelessly in love with her ex-boyfriend and colleague Jasper, and needs to get away for Christmas or she will explode. Amanda is a cool, bubbly American who has just broken up from her cheating boyfriend and needs to get away for Christmas or... well, she'll probably also explode. She discovers Iris's quintessentially English country cottage on a home exchange website, and the two decide to switch houses for Christmas, with Iris taking off for Amanda's swanky LA villa. While there, Iris meets Arthur, an aged Hollywood screenwriting legend, whom she sort of adopts as a grandfather. She also meets Miles, a film score composer, and the two kind of hit it off, but in a really sweet, mostly-platonic-at-first-then-kind-of-develops-into-something-more kind of way.
Meanwhile Amanda meets Graham, Iris's hunky older brother, and the two also hit it off, but more in a wow-we're-both-so-gorgeous-let's-have-sex-even-though-we-don't-know-each-other kind of way.

OK, so the settings are totally cliched. Both women live in stereotypically English/Californian homes, and it is always snowing in England (um, hello? When has THAT ever happened????). But still, I love this film. It's funny, touching and very sweet, and although it's incredibly long for a romcom (about 2 hours 15 minutes) the fact that you have two storylines saves it from getting boring.

The cast are superb, but they are all practically Hollywood royalty (I think Jack Black's making his way up there) and they are very good. Kate Winslet is wonderful, as always, Cameron Diaz knows how to hit all the right buttons, Jack Black is charming and utterly adorable and Jude Law doesn't do a whole lot but looks very handsome. It has all the cuteness you'd expect, with guys writing songs for girls they love, drinking hot chocolate with two endearing little girls, having tea in quaint National Trust properties, and much more. It's like heaven in a film.

I'd say this is up there with some of the best (and by best I mean fluffiest) romantic comedies. It doesn't require a whole lot of thought but it tugs at your heartstrings and bit by bit, even the grumpiest of viewers is won over by the film's soft goo melting your heart.


Talliestar xxx

Iris: [switching her phoneline to Graham] [I can't believe you went and had sex with that woman already!
Amanda: Um, this is Amanda.
Iris: Sorry! Hold on one second.
[tries to divert the call again]
Iris: I can't believe you had sex with that woman! She's only just arrived and you're already in her knickers!
Amanda: [awkwardly] Still me.


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