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The Holiday (PG-13)





Release Date: December 8th, 2006 by Columbia Pictures.
The Cast: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns, Rufus Sewell.
Directed by Nancy Meyers.

BASIC PREMISE: Two lonely women, Amanda (Diaz) from Los Angeles and Iris (Winslet) from London, swap houses during Christmas.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The Holiday shares some uncanny similarities with another Christmas romantic comedy, Love Actually. Both films have an appealing ensemble cast, a cameo, and juggle drama, comedy and romance during the Christmas holiday season. Even the opening scene in this film recalls the opening scene voice-over scene in Love Actually. However, none of the characters seem true-to-life and the contrived, convoluted plot has too many holes from the very beginning. Iris lives a lonely life in London while trying to avoid her controlling ex-boyfriend and co-worker, Jasper (Sewell). Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Amanda breaks up with her boyfriend, Ethan (Burns). After meeting through the internet, Amanda and Iris decide to switch houses during Christmas right away. Amanda falls in love with Irisí older brother, Graham (Law). Back in Los Angeles, Iris falls in love with Miles (Black). Their romance has far less screen time than Amanda and Grahamís romance, but, nonetheless, in both cases, thereís no real chemistry. In another contrived subplot, Amanda befriends an elderly, wise screenwriter (Wallach)óinterestingly, Cameron Diazís character in In Her Shoes also befriended a wise older man. Unfortunately, writer/director Nancy Meyers cares more about costume design, editing and the music score rather than making the characters believable and their dialogue organic. Each actor tries his or her best to enliven the material, but they donít have nearly enough material to keep you engaged through the excessively long running time of 135 minutes.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Contrived, convoluted and implausible.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 5

IN A NUTSHELL: An appealing cast in a contrived, convoluted and implausible plot.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV


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