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The Holiday
Review written on: December 12th, 2006

The Holiday Review

Men run for your lives. The chick flick of the season has arrived.

The Holiday is about two women, Iris and Amanda, who have a problem. It?s not the men in their lives, but their own attitudes towards them. Iris (Kate Winslet) is in love with a co-worker who is engaged but still dragging her along for the ego trip. Amanda (Cameron Diaz) is the very rich and very busy owner of a company that makes movie trailers who doesn’t have time for her boyfriend, who has cheated on her with his younger secretary. So, in true chick flick fashion, they run away from their issues in hopes of resolving them. Iris travels to Amanda’s LA mansion, while Amanda goes to rural England to spend Christmas in Iris’ cozy cottage. Away from their own lives, they can find themselves. Or just new men to complicate their lives.

Their adventures to get away from men can only lead to men, of course. In England, Amanda finds Iris’ brother Graham (Jude Law) on her doorstep one late night. Graham and Amanda strike up a quick connection between the sheets, and try to avoid fully divulging the true complexities of their life. Meanwhile, in LA, Iris befriends an old man who experienced the golden age of Hollywood, and Amanda’s ex-boyfriend’s best friend, Miles (Jack Black). While the relationship is a bit twisted, because Miles is not directly involved in Amanda’s heartache, it is easy to like and accept his relationship with Iris. Miles and Iris share doormat status in their relationships; each are taken advantage of easily. Together, they work to build their confidence and a friendship.

The movie is not hard to figure out. It ends happily to say the least. Sitting through this I constantly cringed at the story line, however. Diaz’ Amanda is the girl who can’t cry, while Winslet’s Iris is the girl who cries too much. Perhaps it is because I?m just not a Diaz fan?her comedy is often more obnoxious than clever, but the scenes watching her try to squeeze out tears because she thinks she should be crying are wretched. Jude Law’s portrayal of the English womanizer was not a stretch, but his character has a surprisingly softer side that helps Diaz’ scenes. Jack Black plays Miles well enough, but his performance is marred by his over-used musical blubberings. Doot ba doot dweedle dum. True he plays a composer for movies, but it seemed out of character, and more like Black’s own personality seeping in. Miles respected the composers and aimed to be great; this twisting of character should have ended up on the cutting room floor. As it is, this movie is too long to sit though in a theater.

To summarize, if your girlfriend is begging to see this, take her and mark those quality points in bold. You will have earned the reward.

 

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