It’s been a while since a decent romantic comedy hit our screens since the likes of Richard Curtis’ Notting Hill in the late 1990’s. Recently though, I had the opportunity to see an engaging Christmas film, The Holiday. It stars Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet in roles that us ‘non-celebrities’ can actually relate to.
The Holiday tells the story of two women living completely opposite lives. Iris, played by Kate Winslet (Titanic), is an insecure English journalist living in a beautiful country cottage. Amanda, acted by Cameron Diaz (Charlie’s Angels), is a wealthy advertiser living in a swanky Hollywood estate. The only things Iris and Amanda have in common is their man headaches and their dire need for a holiday to escape them. So they swap homes for two weeks and soon discover there is more to life than their own problems.
This witty, yet rather slow moving tale is the perfect movie to cull up to and watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It boasts a star studded cast and pairs them up in an unusual sort of way. Cameron Diaz hooks up with the dashing Jude Law, who plays Iris’ older brother Graham, while Kate Winslet teams up with the comic Jack Black (of all people) who plays Amanda’s musician friend Miles. Amazingly these couplings work and watching the chemistry between them sizzle is enough to even keep your granny awake! There is some superb acting from Winslet – her choice in this role really shows off her variability. Diaz, on the other hand, continues to play the ditzy blonde with a conscience role, which, though it is repetitive, is not boring…yet. All together this becomes a much deeper story than your average chick-flick.
The standout however, is the What Women Want director Nancy Meyers – she clearly does know what women want! Her writing and directing of The Holiday has produced another strong showing about how people can change for the better, how life does have ups and has downs and how you just have to deal with it and have a good time. That is what it is all about and I think that the message will really rub off on the audience as they watch it. It also has itself a satisfying and heart-warming ending that, aside from being a little cheesy, suits the film well (it is the kind of finish you need for a Christmas flick).
The Holiday will genuinely surprise you with its unique pairings and its well-told story that has the ability to make you laugh with joy one moment and cry out loud the next. It is a decent, fun movie, good for all.