The Holiday

Film, Comedy
The Holiday

Time Out says

‘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.

By: Anna Smith



Release details

Release date:
Friday December 8 2006
130 mins

Cast and crew

Nancy Meyers
Nancy Meyers
Eli Wallach
Rufus Sewell
Jude Law
Cameron Diaz
Kate Winslet
Jack Black
Edward Burns
You may also like