Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) owns a successful LA advertising agency that creates movie trailers. Her life seems perfect except she is breaking up with her live-in boyfriend Ethan (Edward Burns). Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) writes the London Daily Telegraph's wedding column and also is having man trouble. She is love with her colleague Jasper (Rufus Sewell), but he has just announced his engagement ... to someone else. Desperate to get out of town, Amanda googles a 'home exchange' internet site and finds Iris' charming Surry cottage. On a whim, both girls decided to change continents and move into each other's homes for two weeks. In Surry, Amanda meets Iris' brother Graham (Jude Law), while in California, Iris meets film composer Miles (Jack Black) and makes friends with her elderly neighbour, Hollywood screenwriter Arthur (Eli Wallach).
Review by Louise Keller:
Running away from a broken heart has never been so much fun as in The Holiday, a delightful romantic comedy about love, life and making a change. Writer director Nancy Meyers skilfully builds the scenarios of the two women living an ocean apart, whose only common point is their inability to manage their love lives. It's an attractive cast with Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jack Black, who stumble their way into happiness when they least expect it.
Love is a mystery to both Cameron Diaz' Amanda and Kate Winslet's Iris. Iris simply cannot let go of her three year affair with Rufus Sewell's Jasper, even though she recognises that Jasper is a cad. Amanda on the other hand is married to her job. As her unfaithful boyfriend Ethan (Edward Burns) points out, she even sleeps with her blackberry. Her dreams are weird versions of the movie trailers she creates for a living, reiterating her failure to maintain a relationship. When she finds Iris' quaint stone cottage on a 'home exchange' site, she takes the plunge after being reassured there are absolutely no men at her destination. Amanda trades her plush LA pad with super size pool for Iris' homely cottage in the wintry wonderland of Surry and the lives of both girls instantly change.
When Amanda meets Jude Law's book editor Graham, she finds it liberating to be with a total stranger. Graham, on the other hand, finds her honesty refreshing, and they simply fall into a relationship. Meanwhile, Iris makes a friend of her elderly next door neighbour Arthur, a retired Hollywood screenwriter, played with panache by screen veteran Eli Wallach. This is a surprising and refreshing story strand, in which both Iris and Arthur both benefit from the relationship. Film buffs will delight in the filmic references as Arthur uses his Hollywood knowledge and experience, allowing Iris to see herself in a new light. You are a leading lady, Arthur tells her, not the best friend... Then she meets Jack Black's film composer Miles. There is a very sweet scene in the video store when Miles picks up DVDs and illustrates each movie by singing its music theme. Lo and behold, Dustin Hoffman appears in a brief cameo, just as Miles starts singing 'Mrs Robinson'.
The relationships go beyond the superficial, and while there is no doubt of the story's happy ending, there is plenty of fun to be had getting there. This is perfect holiday romance - for those disillusioned by, exhilarated by and aspiring to love.
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HOLIDAY, THE (M)
CAST: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns, Rufus Sewell
PRODUCER: Nancy Meyers, Bruce A. Block
DIRECTOR: Nancy Meyers
SCRIPT: Nancy Meyers
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dean Cundey
EDITOR: Joe Hutshing
MUSIC: Hans Zimmer
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jon Hutman
RUNNING TIME: 136 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 26, 2006