A light hearted holiday movie with a serious cast at its best is pretty much everything you can ask for if you’re up for a movie solely for entertainment. The Holiday from 2006 featuring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz alongside the charming Jude Law delivers an emotionally stimulating experience that would make you watch it again. Of the many holiday movies I have binged upon, I would say this one is the best. A toxic ex, a good-looking fling, impromptu sex, consequential emotional turmoil, platonic connections of sentimental value, and dramatic endings; The Holiday checks pretty much every box that categorizes its genre while playing out a rather unconventional plot with two women.
Two women, played by Kate and Cameron, exchange their demographics when their love lives become miserable. I do not know if such things happen in real life but one goes to England and the other to Los Angeles, trading homes and contemporary lives for 15 days where they meet new people and develop unexpected connections. Of course, the connections turn out to be the destination in the end and the viewers can already predict that they’ll fall into place at the end; as it generally always happens in holiday movies. Regardless, the smaller elements such as Diaz being unable to cry and Winslet meeting an Oscar winning former screen writer make the story more interesting than just two parallel love stories.
Personally, the plot of Winslet crossing paths with the Academy Awarded screenwriter and becoming a big part of his life encouraging him to receive a lifetime achievement award is my favourite part. Squeezing in a platonic connection in a romantic drama seemed like a novel thing to me. Of course, Winslet being a writer herself and her life revolving around writing and publishing coordinated perfectly with the idea.
What seemed fairly questionable is Jude Law’s character being a father of two daughters out of the blue after depicting him as a popular womanizer in the first half. The character takes a dramatic shift since the revelation and the explanation he provides for compartmentalizing his life seems like a calculated risk that the script writers took in designing him. At the end, it works out beautifully and Amanda (Diaz) ends up falling in love with something she never expected. Something similar happens with Kate and The Holiday ends with a double date including kids and everyone dancing around.
Holiday movies are little forms of emotional fulfilment for vulnerable movie lovers. Human emotions and relationship dynamics aren’t the easiest to capture and depict so they do involve a fair amount of challenge for the makers that mostly goes unappreciated. And yes, the narrations and dialogues must compliment the flow of conscience without compromise. The Holiday, in that sense, is a complete package where finding a flaw is perhaps something you wouldn’t want to do. It makes you an audience – just wanting to be delivered with stimulating content and be fulfilled by it.