The Holiday

Film , Comedy
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(14 user reviews)
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The Holiday
‘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