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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Holiday (2006)
(2020 Reissue)


Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns and Rufus Sewell
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 19 October 2020

With both women reeling from the fallout of failed relationships, Amanda and Iris decide to swap houses for the Christmas holidays. As Amanda travels to England, Iris sets off to the sunny climes of Los Angeles...

The Holiday (2006, 2 hrs, 10 min, 06 sec) is a romantic comedy, written and directed by Nancy Meyers (Somethings Gotta Give (2003), What Women Want (2000)). The film stars Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black.

The movie is set up as two films, happening concurrently, but with surprising little connection between Iris (Winslet) and Amanda (Diaz). As this is a romantic comedy all included are surprisingly trusting.

When Graham (Law) turns up inebriated he finds Amanda in his sister’s house and just accepts that they have swapped houses, not a single question about murdering his sister and burying her body. Amanda is also overly trusting to let a drunk man, who claims to be the brother, sleep in the house. There is also just as unlikely a meeting between Iris and Miles (Black).

There is little doubt that Meyers was able to assemble an impressive cast, including James Franco and Dustin Hoffman who put in cameos.

The chemistry between the couples is uneven. Oddly enough the best and most convincing relationship in the film is between Iris and her neighbour, Arthur (Eli Wallach) an elderly Hollywood scriptwriter. Through the form of film, he helps Iris gain her self-respect and independence from the unrequited love that she has harboured for her fellow worker, Jasper (Rufus Sewell).

Diaz and Law’s relationship works well, in an idealised way, but there is a real lack of chemistry between Winslet and Black. Add to this the obvious padding that the film suffers from and you get a movie with uneven pacing. There are also few in moments of real surprise or humour, even from Jack Black, and most audiences will know early on where the plot is going to take them.

The disc only comes with the option of English subtitles and no extras.

It's not the worst film made, but against other Christmas romcoms like Love Actually the film comes up short.


Charles Packer

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