25 Days of Christmas - The Nice List: The Holiday
I was supposed to watch Jingle All the Way with Ahnold and DeVito, but I couldn't take it. So I rewatched a holiday movie I love. The Holiday is definitely a romantic comedy, but falls more in the realm of the classics than some of today's dreck. Iris (Kate Winslet) is in love with a guy (Rufus Sewell) at work in London who has gotten engaged at the office holiday party. She decides she must get away for the holidays and at the same time Amanda (Cameron Diaz) is breaking up with her boyfriend (Ed Burns) in LA and wants the same thing. They meet online and agree to trade houses for Christmas. Iris embraces the change - warm weather, huge anonymous house, and an older neighbor who used to write movies for the studio system. Amanda can't figure out how to relax - it's the personality that wants to sit still and read books and watch movies, but feels unproductive the entire time and wants to go back to work. Just as she's about to pack up and leave London, she meets Graham (Jude Law in his least annoying role), Iris' brother. They hit it off, and start getting to know each other - but both definitely have baggage. Iris meets one of Amanda's neighbors, Arthur (Eli Wallach) and starts watching movies to get some gumption back. She also meets a friend of Amanda's, Miles (Jack Black), a composer who is dating the wrong girl. They become friends and celebrate Hannukah with Arthur. Both women's lives are back on track - but with a little more self-esteem and gumption.
There isn't a lot that's challenging or sad about this movie, but the stories aren't so predictable that you'll get bored. There is more that's real about each character than most rom-coms bother with. The biggest thing that doesn't actually work is that people from intensely different walks of life really think they can make a go of their relationship (Kate Winslet is so much hotter than Jack Black, Cameron Diaz is SOO much richer than any of the others). But mostly, you can just ignore that fact and enjoy the holiday fluttering of wanting to make your life a better place and finding someone better to share it with. I really like Kate Winslet's storyline the best, her relationship with Eli Wallach is awesome. Harmless fun, but heartwarming at its best.