The Holiday: Laugh, Cry and Enjoy Some Christmas Fettucini
What serves as a better Christmas movie (especially for a site like We Eat Films) than a movie that is in love with movies? I don’t know either. That’s why my We Eat Films, Holiday choice for this year is the 2006, Romantic Comedy, The Holiday.
The film stars Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black and tells the story of two young women who – standing as polar opposites; one too busy for love and the other so obsessed with love that she’ll settle for it in all the wrong places – spontaneously trade houses for, obviously, the Holidays. And, like many of us have tried to do, probably more than once in our lives, they are trying to escape theirs. Yet, instead, they find their lives not only changed, but they also happen to find themselves.
And, okay, the critics may not have given this film wonderful reviews but sometimes you find a movie and you don’t expect it to be Academy Award worthy, you just expect it to make you feel good; which is exactly what this movie does. This is a film about heartbreak, new friendships, finding love and, most of all, it’s a film about redeeming yourself and claiming your life back when you’ve been merely a spectator instead of an active participant. It’s a film that taps into every single emotion that runs high during the Holiday season and it ensures us that, no matter what, we’re not alone; not during these times. And it teaches us that sometimes we can see a glimpse of love in the most unexpected of place. And it saves you.
Still, the best parts of The Holiday – besides being able to watch Jude Law in all his gorgeousness for two hours straight – are found in Arthur Abbott, a character played by Eli Wallach, and Miles, played by Jack Black. It is through these two characters that you realize this movie is also about a love for film. Through Abbott, who was a screenwriter in Hollywood’s Golden Age, you fall in love with Classic Hollywood. He is full of references and notes films from Casablanca to The Lady Eve. He is constantly giving Iris (Kate Winslet) films to watch and it is through these films that she realizes she isn’t simply the ‘best friend’, she is in fact the ‘leading lady’; the leading lady of her life. She goes from being a girl who is burdened by feelings of self-pity to a girl who, as the movie says, has “gumption”. And then you have Jack Black who is a Hollywood composer, and is in love with not only film but music, as well. He consistently points to the absolute genius and magic of the modern, Hollywood composers, such as Vangelis (Chariots of Fire) and Hans Zimmer. It makes one aware of the faces in Hollywood that aren’t always seen or acknowledged but who play just as big a role in creating a film as the actors and the directors.
So, if you’re at all a person like me – a hopeless romantic to the core – and you love a good story about love and everything that goes with it, if you love films because of the fact that they can transport you out of your own life for a little while and make you laugh, cry and just feel something new, then I highly recommend this film to you this season.
Happy Holidays, everyone!!