The Holiday

"OK"

The Holiday Review


Nancy Meyers officially displaces Sleepless in Seattle director Nora Ephron as the crown-wearing queen of winsome, middle-concept romantic comedies.

Granted, the writer-director has been staffing a cache of headstrong and heartfelt female characters since she penned Private Benjamin in 1980. But it's the back-to-back-to-back musings of What Women Want, Something's Gotta Give, and her current affair The Holiday that elevate her to the summit of palatable sap.

Meyers' screenplays light gentle fires under our hearts. As a director, she shoots very bright and extremely clean -- shadows have no place in her optimistic imagination. At her peak, Meyers brought a tender sense of parental pride to the 1991 Father of the Bride remake with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton. And when Meyers feels compelled to pour Hallmark-worthy cheese over her storybook fantasies, she understands when to pull back before our gag reflexes are triggered.

The only thing Meyers doesn't know how to do is shorten her pleasant excursions. Women beat its one joke (a man can read ladies' thoughts) for an eternity, and my patience eventually gave with Give. The same problem plagues Holiday, which largely entertains, but has no business being two hours and 15 minutes long.

A grass-is-always-greener concept finds workaholic women Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet) trading abodes for two weeks. Standoffish So-Cal princess Amanda flees to a quiet cottage outside London, while insecure wallflower Iris hopes the warm California sun can melt away thoughts of her possessive ex-boyfriend (Rufus Sewell). The former enters a whirlwind romance with Iris' ridiculously charming older brother, Graham (Jude Law). The latter goes Hollywood by striking up friendships with two film-industry professionals -- veteran screenwriter Arthur Abbott (a wise Eli Wallach) and endearing musician Miles (Jack Black).

Meyers targets (and connects with) easy jokes that all age ranges can find humor in. She shoots scenic locations we dream of visiting, from England's rustic countryside to Los Angeles' palatial gated communities. Her characters hold dream jobs (Graham is a wealthy book editor, Miles composes film scores), and have problems that can be fixed in the allotted time frame.

The charming male suitors make out better than the ladies they pursue though Holiday. A relaxed Law is at his most debonair, letting the humor in each situation come to him. This is the best I've seen him in some time. Black, meanwhile, keeps his boisterous frat-boy personality in check to find the vulnerable and appreciative side of his character. As for Diaz and Winslet, they recycle emotional riffs each has played before in rival comedies.

Right around the time you start to feel Holiday's length, though, Meyers pulls back the curtain on a soft surprise and the charming endeavor reapplies its spell. Holiday is a pleasant diversion, a comedy that's as adorable as it is comfortably predictable.

Jazz hands!



The Holiday

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Friday 8th December 2006

Box Office USA: $63.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $194.2M

Budget: $85M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Waverly Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
Fresh: 63 Rotten: 72

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Suzanne Farwell, , Bruce Block

Starring: as Amanda Woods, as Iris Simpkins, as Graham, as Miles, as Arthur Abbott, as Ethan, as Jasper, Miffy Englefield as Sophia, Emma Pritchard as Olivia, as Hannah, as Maggie, Bill Macy as Ernie, Shelley Berman as Norman, as Bristol, as Ben

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...

Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool Movie Review

Both the filmmakers and the characters on-screen are so pleased with themselves that this might...

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

Advertisement
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.