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The Holiday


Year: 2006 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from The Holiday

Director: Nancy Meyers

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black

Amanda (Diaz) is a rakish film industry executive living in a vastly glamorous house in California, whilst Iris (Winslet), a quintessentially sweet newspaper journalist, inhabits the cosy Cotswolds of England. Both are delectably neurotic, glitteringly beguiling and are of course utterly submerged in the impossible struggle of being or trying to be in love. It is when Iris realizes that her affections for a colleague who occasionally deigns to masquerade as a boyfriend (Edward Burns) are disillusioned, and when Amanda discovers that her long term partner (Rufus Sewell) has been moonlighting as an adulterous bastard, that their paths become irrevocably entwined. Meeting online and recognising an affinity with each others’ failed relationships, failing self esteem and the ensuing loneliness they expect to descend as Christmas looms, Amanda and Iris decide to take drastic action.

They swap cars, homes, window boxes, neighbours, light fixtures, postcodes, continents – they completely exchange lives and embark on a ‘holiday’ of new surroundings, new people to develop a new outlook.

The film is saturated with the luminous bloom of the perfect romantic comedy dynamic. The narrative and settings exude a warmth which satisfyingly infuses you with that classic feel good factor, and, taking over your limbs, you lazily leave the cinema with that glow, feeling as though this nugget of entertainment has tangibly improved your mood.

The actors collide and react in a spectacular array of engaging characters. Jude Law, playing Iris’ brother, injects elegance and sophisticated charm which oozes palpably from the screen, I dare anyone, male or female to not fall for that man when watching this film, you will fail miserably I guarantee. Diaz, ever scatty and adorable, plays Amanda as slinky and seductive but still manages to make the character relatable and accessible, despite being slightly giddy. And Jack Black supplies a quirky shot of testosterone. Together with Winslet he performs some classic comedic moments as they both display a real sense of friendship, being in sync and lovable.

Meyers continues her success of What Women Want and Something’s Gotta Give. Rather than make you gag at the sticky toffee, sickly sweetness like the humdrum romantic comedies which usually infest the cinematic calendar, The Holiday will definitely enamour you and make you feel spectacularly happy-go-lucky.

Ella Walker

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Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Spring Term (35mm)