Movie Review: The Holiday

The Holiday Trailer

The Holiday Summary

Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet), a society columnist for The Daily Telegraph in London, is still madly in love with her ex, Jasper Bloom (Rufus Sewell), despite the fact that he cheated on her and is emotionally needy. Devastated to discover he is engaged, she decides to get away for the holidays.

Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz), a movie trailer producer in Los Angeles, breaks up with her film composer boyfriend, Ethan (Edward Burns), after he admits to cheating on her. Coming across Iris’ listing of her cottage on a home swap website, she messages her. They agree to switch houses for two weeks starting the next day.

Iris happily settles into Amanda’s large house, but Amanda decides she has made a mistake and plans to return home the next day. That night, Iris’ handsome book editor brother, Graham (Jude Law), drops by after drinking too much at the local pub, asking to spend the night. Amanda agrees and after they talk. Graham unexpectedly kisses her on the lips, then she suggests they have sex as she does not expect to see him ever again. The next morning, despite having enjoyed their time together, they go their separate ways. That evening Graham meets friends at the pub for dinner and sees Amanda there, having decided to stay.

Iris meets Arthur Abbott (Eli Wallach), Amanda’s elderly neighbor and an Oscar-winning screenwriter from the Golden Age of Film. Over dinner, Iris tells him about her troubles with Jasper. He gives her a long list of movies with strong female characters to watch so she can become “the leading lady of her own life.” 

Iris convinces Arthur to be the keynote speaker at a Writers Guild of America West gala and exercises with him so he can walk on stage without his walker. She also befriends Miles (Jack Black), a colleague of Ethan’s who is dating aspiring actress Maggie (Shannyn Sossamon). While at the video store looking for one of the movies on Arthur’s list, he catches Maggie with another man. Iris explains her troubles with Jasper and they have dinner together to bring each other’s spirits up on Christmas Eve.

Amanda opens up to Graham, telling him she has not cried since her parents divorced when she was 15. Surprising him at his house, she discovers he is a widower with two young daughters. He kept his daughters a secret because compartmentalizing his life helps him deal with the overwhelming responsibility of being a single working father. And he does not want to bring a woman into the girls’ lives unless the relationship definitely has a future. They begin to think their relationship is more complicated than they can handle.

On the day of the screenwriter’s gala, Maggie asks Miles to take her back, but he refuses. Jasper surprises Iris by showing up at Amanda’s but, drawing on the example of the women from Arthur’s films, she kicks him out. At the gala, Arthur walks onstage unassisted and Miles asks Iris out on a date for New Year’s Eve. She agrees and kisses him. 

Meanwhile, Graham tells Amanda he has fallen for her and while she says she does not return the sentiment, they agree to try to make a long-distance relationship work. While heading to the airport, Amanda breaks down crying. She runs back to the cottage and she and Graham make plans to spend New Year’s Eve together with his daughters.

On New Year’s Eve, Iris, Amanda, Miles, and Graham, with his daughters, all happily celebrate at Graham’s house.

The Holiday Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A cute romantic holiday that is a classic. It is fun and great idea for switching homes for short period.

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