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Hello, my name is Mr Napkin Head!
The Holiday (DVD)
Member Name: pmcds
The Holiday (DVD)
Advantages: Very well done romcom
Disadvantages: The ending is a bit cheesy
I have to say that I'm not usually a fan of romcoms, and although I often associate well with the humour in them, the whole romance thing is often far fetched and unbelievable, and this puts me off. There have been a few romcoms that I have enjoyed watching, but none that I can actually say I rate very highly. Director Nancy Meyers often gets things right, and I will freely admit that some of Something's Gotta Give was hilarious, and Jumpin Jack Flash was a brilliant film, and begrudgingly I give her the thumbs up for The Holiday too.
The story starts us off with a narrative from Kate Winslet's character, Iris, as she prepares for her work Xmas office party, telling us how she is madly in love with her ex-boyfriend, who seems to rely on her....still, for many things, and how it drives her mad. Indeed, her best friend Hannah (Sarah Parish) jumps in to tell her the same thing. But she won't listen, and for a moment I thought we were going to end up with a virtual carbon copy of Bridget Jones' Diary all over again - a decent enough film, but once was enough, thanks!
However, the tune changes as we switch to L.A., where successful movie trailer creator Amanda (Cameron Diaz) breaks up with her cheating husband Ethan (Ed Burns). Amanda, distraught after the break up, looks to get away for a while, and agrees to swap houses for a couple of weeks with Iris through an online house swap site. Fate steps in with love hot on his heels fgor the rest of the film, as the two unlucky in love women find that reinventing yourself and accepting something new could just be the way to a happy life.
And this comes in the form of two charismatic leading men in Jude Law and Jack Black. Law plays Graham, whom Amanda meets within the first few hours of being in England, while Jack Black's composer Miles is a far cry from the usual comedy roles he normally plays, and is a suitable supporting shoulder for Iris. The four leading stars actually work very well together, and there is no awkwardness at any point they are on screen.
The plot flows along very nicely, and I was surprised to find that over 2 hours had gone past by the end of the film. Tehre are some subplots that are intricately woven in to the main plot of the women hoping to be happy, and as such, Rufus Sewell (as Jasper, Iris' ex) and Eli Wallach (octogenarian Hollywood writer living next door to Iris in L.A.) give excellent supporting performances. Those of you paying attention will also notice a short but quirky cameo from Dustin Hoffman, too, and there is also a brief role for Shannyn Sossamon.
The film goes along at a very gentle pace and doesn't try to do too much in the way of wowing an audience with its love story. It is merely telling a tale, and I guess the reason I liked it a lot was the believability factor of a lot of the scenes - it all seems rather normal. Even the awkward romantic scenes seem awkward on screen but not to watch, if you see what I mean, and tis is testament to clever scripting and directing from Meyers. The only shame is the cheesy ending that does drag a little, the very final scene seemingly a bit too much for what is essentially a very easy to watch film.
I do recommend giving this one a go. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it, and it is ncie to see a romcom that doesn't go too much overboard as they have a tendency to. The DVD I have doesn't contain any extras, but in all honesty I didn't really feel like I needed to see any. A nice simple film that is likely to keep you interested throughout, The Holiday is currently available from amazon.co.uk for £3.98.
Summary: Very good romcom from Nancy Meyers