The Holiday (2006)

Nancy Meyer’s 2006 film ‘The Holiday’ jumps from L.A. in America to Surrey in England, jumping from different characters, in a Britain meets America and America meets Britain film. Two women running away from their lives over the Christmas vacation decide on a house swap. Iris (Kate Winslet) from Surrey moves to L.A., while Amanda (Cameron Diaz) visits Iris’ home in Surrey. This film is original with great actors and very enjoyable to watch.

The actors are great in this film, with the likes of Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black. What’s not to love?! They truly are great in this film, but that’s a given. My favourite having to be Jude Law, but the rest are equally as brilliant. First thing to mention is that if you’re not a fan of the romantic and lovey-dovey films, then I would suggest to stay clear of this one. This film covers all sorts of love, narrated at the beginning by Kate Winslet’s character, which I really like in the film to just exaggerate what her character is feeling. Kate Winslet plays a hung up woman, Iris, who’s been in love with the same man, Jaspar (Rufus Sewell), for three years. Even though he treated her dreadfully by cheating on her when they were dating. But they stayed friends, and she is unable to move on from this unrequited love as he is always around. Kate Winslet plays Iris brilliantly, someone who is desperate to get over this love that is controlling her. We see a completely different side of her when she is away from Jaspar, when she is able to be herself in L.A., as she glorifies in Amanda’s massive house. Cameron Diaz plays someone rather different to Iris. Nevertheless, the character is great also. Her character, Amanda, is work driven and is unable to let herself fall in love fully. After Amanda finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, she kicks him out of her house, and doesn’t shed one tear. When she vacates to Iris’ cottage, she meets Iris’ brother, Graham, introducing Jude Law. A romance begins between the two, which is heavily focussed on in this film. One that is actually adorable and just gets the audience gushing for them.

The Holiday - Amanda and Graham

When the film jumps to Amanda in Surrey, it is very focussed on romance and the developing relationship between Graham and Amanda. However in L.A., Iris meets an old man, Arthur (Eli Wallach), who helps her get to know the neighbourhood and a friendship grows. She also meets Jack Black’s character, Miles, who is Amanda’s ex’s friend. These two stories are quite different, as Miles is devoted to his girlfriend while Iris is hung up on Jaspar, creating a friendship rather than a romance; whereas Amanda and Graham date and spend a lot of time together, which is a clear romance. I feel like there is more of a focus on Cameron Diaz’s character rather than Iris as the film proceeds; although at the beginning it starts with a narration from Kate Winslet. I like that this is done though, as Amanda struggles with a new relationship she doesn’t quite understand, the audience needs to witness more to understand how her mind works. Also, it spends more time with Jude Law’s character as he isn’t the one-night stand guy he seems to be in the beginning, but something rather more complicated. The characters are all so different but all of them are great in their own way.

The Holiday - Iris and Miles

This film is about a holiday over Christmas vacation, so some may consider it to be a Christmas film. Personally, I don’t see it as a Christmas film in itself, but yeah there is talk of Christmas Eve and the occasional Christmas tree; but it’s not actually about Christmas I feel. There are some Christmas songs that are played, but then again ‘Mr Brightside’ by the Killers is played…

I would recommend this film if it sounds like something you would enjoy. But keep in mind that even though this film is classed as a romcom, I would most predominantly say it is revolved around romance and love. There are some parts that are slightly funny, but it’s not a laugh out loud film. It’s just a nice feel-good film to watch. Something that I have to mention, is that it is quite a long film, so it might seem like it’s dragging in parts, but I feel this is done well to not feel this so much, especially the first time you’re watching it. So if you love a feel-good film to watch and smile, then I would definitely recommend ‘The Holiday’, to escape with some amazing actors and experience a variety of loves.


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