The Holiday

This is sugar-fairy fairy floss. It looks like it could be a tasty bit of shameful pleasure, but it isn’t. Nope, it’s bland and a real chore to get through. Maybe if the film had had more spark in it, or something along the lines of a script (rather than an outline) had been used to set it up, then those 135 minutes (!) would’ve been a little more tolerable. As it is, you might as well be paying good money to have a sleep in a hard cinema chair.


Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Rufus Sewell, Edward Burns

It happens every year about this time – without fail. Just after Christmas, a certain type of film is released (usually boxing day or Christmas day) that’s as fluffy as rear-view mirror dice, as challenging as the first level of Sonic, and as average as tofu ice cream. It’s the studio system’s gift to its brightest stars – a futile romantic comedy that serves as both, a) A holiday for its usually challenged cast and, b) a way to quickly snag what money you’ve left after Christmas, before the good stuff comes along and you waste it on those offerings instead.

Cameron Diaz is an American woman with some major relationship problems. Kate Winslet is an English woman with some major relationship problems. Both need a change of scenery. Presto! They swap houses.

When Amanda (Diaz) turns up in England – to stay in Iris’s (Winslet) super small cottage – she discovers an unlikely suitor in the charming Graham (Jude Law), Iris’s brother.
Meantime, back in America, Iris meets the charming, Miles (Jack Black).

Yeah, this one writes itself.

The title says it all: “The Holiday”. A chance for Hollywood’s finest – yeah OK, Jack Black ain’t that fine, but stay with me on this – to bask in the sun, tell yarns with friends, and generally just party in front of a camera. Yep, we tend to end of the year, or start off a new one, but merely watching footage of A-listers being paid $10 million to, well, wind down. When are we all going to catch on this mega ruse?

This is sugar-fairy fairy floss. It looks like it could be a tasty bit of shameful pleasure, but it isn’t. Nope, it’s bland and a real chore to get through. Maybe if the film had had more spark in it, or something along the lines of a script (rather than an outline) had been used to set it up, then those 135 minutes (!) would’ve been a little more tolerable. As it is, you might as well be paying good money to have a sleep in a hard cinema chair.

Ok, there’s sprinkles of goodness here and there – Diaz’s character cuts movie trailers for a living so there’s a lot of good jokes about that, including a constant voice-over of her life by that chap that voices the trailers, and Eli Wallach, as a veteran screenwriter about to achieve a lifetime achievement award, has some sweet moments – but its like being left the crumbs from a piece of cake. She’s no Scorsese, but Nancy Meyers (“Something’s Gotta Give”, “What Women Want”) can do better.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris