The Holiday

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‘If you liked “Love Actually”, you’ll love this!’ is the sort of quote that could easily adorn the poster of ‘The Holiday’, but of course that may not endear it to everyone. A leisurely feelgood rom-com from the director of ‘What Women Want’, it has a big-name ensemble cast and ticks all the transatlantic boxes. An American woman (Cameron Diaz) and a Brit (Kate Winslet) swap houses for Christmas, both smarting from break-ups. While one gets Jude Law knocking on the door of a quaint Surrey cottage, the other finds Jack Black buzzing at the Hollywood mansion gates.

The film itself is only gently amusing, often lacking comic timing and relying on Diaz’s trademark high-heeled pratfalls and Winslet’s lovelorn ‘Bridget Jones’-style routine too heavily. Some charming moments come courtesy of the friendship between Iris (Winslet) and an ageing LA screenwriter (Eli Wallach) – although this also gives rise to pointed movie references harking after a bygone era the film clearly wishes it belongs to. Modern cynicism has no place here: the script even makes a pre-emptive strike against criticisms when a happier Iris announces that she’s decided to embrace ‘corny’. The romances, however, are handled with more precision and realism, and Law’s performance is a surprising stand-out (in his first romantic comedy). The long running time pays off, allowing female audiences to vicariously date Law’s character – although whether that will blind all of them to the film’s laboured set-up is another question. The ‘Love Actually’ comparison should work as a useful barometer here.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday December 8 2006
Duration: 130 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nancy Meyers
Screenwriter: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Eli Wallach
Rufus Sewell
Jude Law
Cameron Diaz
Kate Winslet
Jack Black
Edward Burns
LiveReviews|11
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John Cooper

Sometimes we can do without `modern cynicism`, and there's nothing wrong with a film being `gently amusing`. This is a charming feel-good film which makes no apologies for itself . OK . . .so life isn't like this . . . but . . . it's a rom-com .. . what do you expect ? The Holiday is a charming film, well-acted with a nice score from Hans Zimmer, and for a couple of hours the world seems a better place to live in . . . . Let the Time Out Critics have their Citizen Kane or Rachel Getting Married to name two of the most pretentious films ever made . . . . . and which most people have never seen . . . It's films lilke ` The Holiday` and Notting Hill` which get the punters into the cinemas . . . .Time Out's condescending review is irritating . . . .This film is classy entertainment with a lot of heart, . . . . .recommended!

Brandie

I think its delightfully corny. I love Kate Winslet in this and Cameron Diaz who sometimes is a little off putting for me because she tends to play these somewhat ditzy naive types. I absolutely loved seeing Jack Black in something that is just charmingly funny as opposed to slap stick and Jude Law could not go wrong. I always feel warm and fuzzy after this movie and what else is there to say? If it makes you feel good then it did its job. Ben-giving it a second chance WTG!

Brandie

I think its delightfully corny. I love Kate Winslet in this and Cameron Diaz who sometimes is a little off putting for me because she tends to play these somewhat ditzy naive types. I absolutely loved seeing Jack Black in something that is just charmingly funny as opposed to slap stick and Jude Law could not go wrong. I always feel warm and fuzzy after this movie and what else is there to say? If it makes you feel good then it did its job. Ben-giving it a second chance WTG!

tillie

The movie was trite, silly, immature, and in some scenes caused my neck to sweat from embarressment.

kel

Warm, Fuzzy Christmas Film. Great cast, except Jack Black a little miscast for this type of role!! still great!!

jen

First class feel good film for Christmas. Just the job for a cosy night in on the couch!

jen

First class feel good film for Christmas. Just the job for a cosy night in on the couch!

Michaela

This film is a fantastic chic flick. Having recorded it from Sky only yesterday I am now about to watch it for the 5th time. It's up there with Serendipity, definately recommend for the men to buy for their woman at Christmas..... Happy watching

Michaela

This film is a fantastic chic flick. Having recorded it from Sky only yesterday I am now about to watch it for the 5th time. It's up there with Serendipity, definately recommend for the men to buy for their woman at Christmas..... Happy watching