Movie 411: The Holiday

Director: Nancy Meyers
Screenplay: Nancy Meyers
Rated: PG-13
Released: December 2006
Genre: Rom-Com
The Hook: Wanted to watch something lighthearted

Not only did it match the criteria of lightheartedness, Jude Law is acting in it and I’m a huge fan of Watson characters. So, yep.


The story focuses on Amanda, who puts together movie trailers and lives in LA, and Iris, who is an office assistant and lives in England. It’s Christmas and both women are fed up and the challenges they’re facing during this time–a cheating boyfriend, an ex that you just can’t get over, basically, it suck–and they’re looking for some escape.

In steps the Internet, and all the ideas floating around out there, including a house swapping site for those looking for a getaway with a home-away-from-home kind of feel. So, Amanda and Iris find each other and decide to swap for the holiday. They each find the adventures the much-needed break they were hoping for and really, really needed.


Even though I’m more of an action flick kinda gal, I’m still a gal so now and then those darned rom-coms worm their way into that “aw, cute!” side of me. Which is exactly what The Holiday did. Sighs. The story focuses on Amanda and Iris so the narrative bounces back and forth between their experiences. Even thought it bounces back and forth, you don’t get whiplash from it. It’s done rather nicely, transitioning between both point-of-views smoothly. You know that it’s a love story, or love stories, so you know each of them will be meeting their love interest. I like how it was done, these “meet cutes.” The fact that it takes place around the holidays, while just a tad bit cliche, its cliche for a reason, yes? It works. It sets that everything-is-magical feel, that warm and fuzzy feel, which just works.

On top of that, it’s comical. I mean, it is a rom-com so comedy does have to fit in here somewhere. It’s hard to describe the humor in this one, but of what I can describe is that there is a balance. You have witty remarks punctured by “Ha, ha, ha. That happened!” moments. It blends perfectly to move the romantic story line along. You don’t get bogged down or bored by the romantic angle. That helps. And, actually, when you think about it, that’s the point of romantic-comedy, right? The “I love you” but “let’s have a good laugh while we’re at it” story. You get that with this one.

Cameron Diaz (Amanda) and Kate Winslet (Iris) are great in the roles they play. Amanda seems to be this confident, independent-thinking woman but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have insecurities, you know? Diaz did a good job projecting that. Bold, beautiful, and in your face, but “you like me, right?” kind of personality. On the other hand, you have this shy and reserved Iris who isn’t really a pushover, but when it comes to unrequited love things get a bit complicated, you know? There’s this hope that if you do everything right that someone may take notice and may start to reciprocate. Winslet portrays that well. Add the personalities of Jack Black (Miles) and Jude Law (Graham) and you have a great on-screen dynamic to move this story along.

It’s a great movie. A good movie when you are looking for something light and fun. With that said, I don’t think I will add it to my movie library. For me, it just isn’t a go-to movie. And maybe I’m bias because, to put things in perspective (from my perspective), I see myself watching While You Were Sleeping before thinking of putting this movie on (and, yes, I’m a Sandra Bullock fan).  But it’s a good rom-com for the winter/Christmas season. I do see myself hunting this movie down when the holidays come around or if I’m looking to give myself a Christmas in July moment.



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