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You know what movie I never expected to enjoy? The Holiday. It’s a movie I discovered some time ago. I have rewatched the film a couple of times and with each viewing, the story and its character have a different impact on me. Holidays are meant for spending time with family. Or friends. Or strangers we meet along the way who somehow change the way we think about ourselves and life.
The Holiday is a 2006 film directed by Nancy Meyers. The premise conjoins the stories of Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), two women who have had their own rough patches with love. To get away from it all, the women do a house swap to enjoy a relaxing holiday and to escape. Instead, they end up in romances and also re-discovering their true inner values.
Each actress gives a stellar performance capturing emotions and battling against their own insecurities. They never share any screen time—saved for one memorable scene. I like that detail in the film. These are two different stories, with both women dealing with the same problem. Neither knows what the other is going through. It’s amazing what you perceive after multiple viewings.
Jude Law (Graham) and Jack Black (Miles) are the angels sent from heaven. Graham is the brother of Iris who has been fighting his own personal battles. As Graham captures Amanda’s heart it’s also revealed that his life isn’t so perfect either. And neither is Miles.
I am blown away by Jack Black’s performance in The Holiday. Normally he plays in comedic films such as School of Rock, exchanged his voice in the animated feature Kung Fu Panda, and most recently Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. I never would have thought he’d star in a drama. Every single time I watch this film I cannot help but smile when he is helping Iris laugh, and introducing different scores to films. Even better is that Black’s character is a film buff! I live for film buffs!
While Winslet travels to the sunny L.A, Diaz flies out to London, England. I am so jealous! Examine the scenery and detail as you watch this film. The hilltops, snowy grassy lands, and even the town are so beautiful! Now I want to take a trip to London. The Rosehill cottage used in the film was built specifically for the movie and was sadly torn down once filming ended. You have to admire what films can do to bring your ultimate dream homes to life.
Other than a romance with Jack Black, Winslet forms a grandfatherly bond with Arthur, performed by the late Eli Wallach, who is an elderly retired film director. He believes that nobody remembers his movies anymore. No matter how old we are, it’s never too late to change. Or make a friendship.
Reviews for The Holiday have concluded that the film felt too much like a fairytale. While everyone does get a happy ending, they don’t have the easiest time. They must trust their own instincts and advice or from a stranger. One criticism that I do have is the pacing. Some parts felt a little slow and dragged on. Other than that, it is a feel-good movie for the holidays.
One interesting fact about the movie is that Diaz claims that this was the most physical work she ever had to do for a film. Yes, I will agree. We have to run after our dreams and embrace what we want instead of holding on to the unneeded baggage.
People come and go in our lives, for the best or worst. Take a break from the realities and go on an adventure. One of the best things about life is that you never know what may happen. Go watch The Holiday during the Christmas season.