Review: The Holiday
This story focuses on two women, one of whom is a lonely writer from England whos in love with another man who is about to be married, and the other of which is a very attractive entrepreneur from L.A. who has a philandering boyfriend. In a desperate attempt to escape their own lives, the two women exchange households for the holidays. The "wonderful" emotions of breaking-up, falling for the wrong person and falling into new love are all explored in this nicely packaged little holiday flick.
Clearly this is a film for the ladies. I was expecting a little more humor in the movie, but most of it was cliché and directed toward the female audience (hence, I had a hard time relating). There wasn't anything really new here that we haven't already seen before other than the "twist" of exchanging homes. The whole storyline was pretty predictable and the running time was way too long for this kind of movie. The only thing that saved it for me were its characters.
Cameron Diaz plays Amanda, the entrepreneur from L.A.. She looked great and sexy. She brought this pseudo-craziness to the character that was charming and easy to like. Kate Winslet plays Iris, the writer from England. Her hopeless love for a man that doesn't return the same affection is believable and I'm quite sure a lot of people can relate to these emotions of sadness and desperation that Winslet portrayed. What I liked about her character was this unknowingness that she was attractive and she had this air of grace that followed her.Jude Law and Jack Black play the "new" love interests to the respective ladies. Law is always charming and likeable, as usual. However, I felt Black was underused and toned down and I would have liked to have seen more of his character. I was waiting for him to explode, but he didn't so I guess he was trying something new with this role. He was good and he had this quirky confidence that was fun to see. These two guys should consider doing a duo flick, it might actually be good! Eli Wallach plays Arthur Abbott, an old Hollywood screenwriter who befriends Winslet (platonic, of course). It was a nice surprise to see him and I enjoyed the side story that surrounded his character.
Nancy Meyers directing wasn't bad. It seemed like she was able to capture the feelings of what women experience when breaking free from a broken relationship and the adventures and joys of falling into a new one. I realize that part of the story takes place in England and the other takes place in the U.S, but it felt like Meyers was trying to integrate a British comedy style into the movie and it didn't really work for me. Isn't there supposed to be a standard for running time when it comes to comedies? TWO HOURS and change, c'mon!? Please think about the men who have to sit through this with their better halves. It was just a bit too long for my taste.
I just don't see a bunch of guys getting together to go see this movie, so it is definitely more of a chick flick! It's predictable, light fun and if you do go see it with your girlfriend(s) and dont go in expecting much, you'll probably enjoy it.
-- by Tim
-- by Tim Goernert
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