The Holiday

2007-03-19 16:00

Two women who have never met exchange homes during the holiday season to escape the misery of their personal lives. One is a successful Los Angeles movie trailer maker (Cameron Diaz) who can’t express emotion and the other is an English writer (Kate Winslet) in love with a betrothed colleague. In their new surroundings they each meet charming men (Jude Law and Jack Black) and find their lives suddenly changed by their new addresses.


The Holiday was supposedly written specifically with the lead cast in mind. Writer/producer Nancy Meyers must have had a fantasy involving Jude Law and Cameron Diaz to have cast them as romantic leads. And can we blame her? People love to watch beautiful people canoodle on screen.

The movie has also been specifically written to fill the soppy holiday movie gap, the type of feel-good movie that shows us that “love is all around us”. Also in the cast are Jack Black and Kate Winslet - one brilliant actress and one comedian with a maximum of three facial expressions.

Once again Cameron Diaz’s principle role is to be as cute and beautiful as she can – a bit of a waste of her strong but seldom seen acting abilities. Diaz is the emotionally unavailable Amanda, a rich and super hot LA business owner who seemingly has it all. The character is a combination of many of Diaz’s past roles, coming across as quirky, sexy and strong. Think Charlie’s Angels meets There’s Something About Mary.

Predictably Jude Law is the English playboy, Graham, gorgeous, charming and no more than eye candy. Law has the face that could very well melt the coldest of hearts, but don’t expect to see any brilliant acting. His role is similar to that of Cameron’s: look beautiful and hopefully no one notices your atrocious performance.

In Hollywood there are actors and comedians. Very rarely you’ll find an artist who can do both. However, Jack Black is not that person. Black plays Miles, a melodramatic composer. He is more in love with his girlfriend than she is with him, and he spends his days writing themes for romantic movies. Black seems very uncomfortable in this role, the soft-hearted teddy bear guy doesn’t suit the comedian. He tries hard to create chemistry with co-star Kate Winslet, but fails miserably.

Winslet on the other hand is great as Iris. Any woman can whole-heartedly identify with her character. Unfortunately the miscasting of Black puts a downer on her superb performance.

In short you can expect some interesting cameos, some fuzzy-wuzzy stuff and some laughs, but no brain. If you take The Holiday for what it is, a romantic holiday movie, then it can prove to be enjoyable family entertainment. Unfortunately it does not even live up to the standards of Love Actually, the movie it so longs to be.

- Ashlin Simpson
A Christmas romance so light and brainless that it almost floats off the screen. But hey, we'll take any excuse to watch beautiful people canoodle.

Lauren 2007/02/13 1:19 PM
The Holiday I just simply love Jude Law so whatever movie he's in i will watch......
Rene 2007/02/13 9:09 PM
The holiday Jude Law as Gary Grant before may just appear on screem and I am marshmallow. I loved the holiday. it took me out of real life and still I could believe in life. Get what I mean?
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