The Holiday

"Good"

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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.