(Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, et al / DVD / PG-13 / (2006) 2007 / Sony Pictures)
Overview: Movie trailer editor, Amanda of Los Angeles, CA and journalist Iris of Surrey, England live five thousand miles apart and have never met, but are dealing with the same problem: men. Amanda having just broken up with her cheating boyfriend, Ethan and Iris having pined for her ex, Jasper, becoming engaged to the woman he left her for decide to take a vacation during Christmas. They come upon a website called home exchange and swap houses for two weeks both with a goal to forget their troubled love lives. But love ends up finding them anyways. Amanda starts a romance with Iris' older brother, Graham, a book editor and Iris starts a romance with a movie composer named Miles. With new found romance, both their lives change forever.
DVD Verdict: Nancy Meyers has always been one of my favorite writer/director's when it comes to romantic-comedies. She's got a knack for writing a clever script, with clever dialogue, and loveable characters. Her last film "Something's Gotta Give" was overly long, but wonderfully funny.
Her latest film "The Holiday" is even better than that film and is not only one of my favorite romantic-comedies of 2006, but one of my favorite films of 2006. It's certainly got some of the most loveable characters and wittiest dialogue. The movie stars Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as Amanda and Iris. Amanda is a movie trailer designer who lives in a big, expensive house in Los Angeles; a woman whose life appears to epitomize perfection, until her boyfriend (Edward Burns) cheats on her and she dumps him. Then there's Iris, a newspaper columnist who lives in England,
who has been in love with a man (Rufus Sewell) for 3 years.
Just when she thinks she might have a chance with him, he becomes engaged. Both women need to get away. The solution? Home exchange. They exchange houses, cars, and all their personal items for two weeks so each can get away from their troubles. Both arrive and finally find things falling into place for them; Iris is amazed to find all the things at Amanda's house and develops a special relationship with a former screenwriter named Arthur (Eli Wallach, who is absolutely charming) and even falls into a budding relationship with Miles (Jack Black, in top form) who's relationship problems are very similar to hers. Then there's Amanda, who meets Iris' charming and unlawfully good-looking brother Graham (Jude Law, who is both charming and unlawfully good looking).
The movie runs 2 hours and 15 minutes, something I didn't know until the movie had started playing. When I noticed that, I thought to myself "Nancy Meyers went overboard again." But that is simply not the case. Few romantic-comedies I've seen recently have been so packed with great scenes, not a single one seems unnecessary or forced. The characters are charming enough on the page, but Meyers helped them translate to screen better by casting the most charming set of people. Diaz is full of comedic energy and is both beautiful and charming; Jude Law is Jude Law; Winslet plays that character in every film like this that is so charming you can't help but root for her; and Black shows a nice change of pace in this film. His performance is both mature and witty, but at the same time should appeal to fans of his much wilder facades.
This is a movie that, ultimately, falls into the category of "chick flick," but it's a lot better than that. It's actually a superb little movie that does what a romantic-comedy is supposed to do; Be romantic and comedic. This is a hard film not to enjoy and I see myself in the near future watching it once more, I highly recommend it.
This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary by writer/director Nancy Meyers and guests
"Foreign Exchange: The Making of The Holiday" featurette