I remember when I first saw this film in the cinema. It was a mid-week afternoon, maybe a Wednesday and the cinema was packed. I went to see it on my own, which I’m usually quite happy to do, but on this occasion I felt a little self-conscious. There I was, sat in the middle seat of the middle row with two empty chairs either side of me, and surrounding me were couples. I don’t mind being alone, but I don’t like being reminded that I am alone.
Anyway, on with the review. So this is an amazing film written and directed by Nancy Meyers, and it stars Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black and Eli Wallach. It also takes place at Christmas so it’s perfect for this time of year. Iris (Winslet) and Amanda (Diaz) are unlucky in love and both need to take a break from their lives. They find each other on a house exchange website and take a two-wee vacation. They intend to escape their love troubles but instead they may find the solutions to their problems…
This movie is brilliant and I absolutely love it. The Holiday has the perfect mix of humour and tension and it’s incredibly heartwarming. I think both the stories could have made decent films in their own right, but put them together and it’s magical. It really helps that the cast is excellent, and the chemistry between them makes the romance feel genuine and believable. Each character has their own little tragic love story and the film explores different aspects of love, which again is something I love. Iris’ story is more subtle and the love develops gradually, while Amanda’s is more raw and passionate, but each of them are filled with some deep emotions. There are a few little twists which make the ride enjoyable, and it’s just plain fun to watch.
As well as being about the love the film is also about movies with a lot of meta commentary about the movie industry. Amanda owns a business that makes movie trailers, and it’s fun to watch her life being narrated through that, but this aspect is mainly explore through Abbott (Wallach) who is a writer that Iris meets. Eli Wallach is superb and almost steals the whole film, and the conclusion to his story is equally as heartwarming as the romantic entanglements.
I really like the contrast between the two characters. Iris has to find her inner leading lady and show gumption while Amanda has to allow herself to feel vulnerable. The balance between the two stories is delicately handled and I don’t feel that either one overshadowed the other.
Anyone who is a fan of movie love can’t fail to love this movie. It’s heartwarming and feel-good, and some of the cinematography is stunning, the scenes shot in England are beautiful. It’s a cute movie about love and movies, so if you like either of those two then you’re onto a winner.