179. The Holiday

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Movie: The Holiday

Release Date: November 29, 2006

Director: Nancy Meyers

Starring: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Ed Burns, Rufus Sewell,

Tag Lines: “From the creators of ‘What Women Want’ and ‘Something’s Gotta Give.”

Relevance: In 2006, I was out of the trenches of retail, yet still in its atmosphere. I no longer worked as a store manager, but I did work in the home office of a retail company that sold music and movies. For all of those retail workers out there, you know that from November through January you have no life. Plain and simple. Your weekly hours of work range anywhere from forty-four to sixty plus hours. It is an insane time. Thankfully when I started working in the home office in 2003, my November through January hours were much less, but it was still hectic and busy. The movies I attended during the holiday period prior to 2003 were slim to none. After 2003, the percentage went up a tad, but I still didn’t get to see a lot of theatrical releases. This is my only excuse of why I did not see ‘The Holiday’ when it was in theaters.

I have already mentioned on this blog that I have a not so secret crush on Kate Winslet. I consider her my fantasy girlfriend. I am a fan of her in real life and an even bigger fan as an actress. She could do no wrong. She is beautiful on the inside and outside and is flawless when it comes to tackling a character. I could watch her act for hours. And I have. She appears on my list of most influential movies of all time numerous times. I am also a fan of Jude Law. I think he is cute to look at (very cute to look at), and I am a huge fan of his acting as well. With the two of them in this movie, I couldn’t wait to see it. Unfortunately I did not.

‘The Holiday’ was a a moderate box office hit, eventually becoming the twelfth highest-grossing film of the 2000’s by a female director. However, it was not well praised by critics. Its biggest problem, according to those pesky critics, was it was deemed too predictable. None of those critiques stopped from wanting to see it though. I simply had to see my girlfriend. So far away from the holiday season, probably sometime in the summer of 2007 when the movie was released as a rental, I did just that.

I watched the movie alone and smiled from beginning to end, in between the crying. I loved every second of the movie. The overall aesthetic to the film as well as its cast were overwhelmingly perfect. Yes, it had a simple story that may have been predictable, but it was told so eloquently. There is nothing wrong with a happy ending every now and then. The movie was written and directed beautifully by Nancy Meyers and my “girlfriend” was at the top of her game. Her performance was simply marvelous and made me smile, laugh and cry numerous times throughout. Jude Law had the same effect on me and my fandom grew more for him after watching him in this. Cameron Diaz was equally effective as was Jack Black. Now, I will be honest. I was not a huge Jack Black fan before this movie. Although I appreciate his talent, he sometimes bordered on annoying. Not in this movie. He was, dare I say, charming. Even now when he annoys me with his antics and comedy, I fondly remember him in ‘The Holiday’ and all is forgiven.

As soon as I saw the movie I called my mom. My mom was the queen of Hallmark movies and as soon as I saw it, I knew she would love it. I was one-hundred percent right. She adored the film and it quickly became one of her favorites to watch over and over again. Throughout the years the film has become sort of a cult classic thanks to its re-airing over the holiday season. If it is not on once it is on a hundred times from November through December. Even though I own this beautiful film, I still try to watch it every time it is on television.

Today’s Thoughts: I could watch ‘The Holiday’ in December with temperatures at freezing and snow covering the earth. I could also watch ‘The Holiday’ in July with ninety degree weather and me not wanting to leave the confines of my air conditioned house. The latter is what I did today. With a glass of wine (day drinking is a real thing now) and a box of Kleenex, I had Christmas in July with my girlfriend.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this movie. It is sheer perfection. I had just recently watched the movie a few months ago, but I was just as moved now as I was then as well as when I first saw it back in 2007. It is such a wonderful romantic comedy. I laughed. I cried. It most definitely was better than ‘Cats’ (both the musical and the movie). I could go on and on about Ms. Winslet and Mr. Law, but that would just bore you. Today I seemed to concentrate on one of the movies side stories with the ever adorable Eli Wallach. I loved his character in the film and loved all of the Hollywood banter that he, Ms. Winslet and Jack Black had throughout. There are also a few cameos worth noting including John Krasinski, Kathryn Hahn and a very funny “blink and you’ll miss it” appearance by Dustin Hoffman.

Of course, as predicted by grabbing the box of Kleenex before the movie started, I cried numerous times today. I cried because it is romantic and regardless of those nasty rumors, I do have a romantic side buried deep down inside of me. I cried because Kate Winslet. She is just that good. I also cried because this was one of my mom’s favorite movies and she will never get to see it again.

‘The Holiday’ is a funny, romantic movie that everyone should watch. Even the darkest cynic will find something in it to make them smile. It is poignant, beautiful and a must see, no matter what month hangs on the calendar.

Ways to Watch: Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Hulu, DVD Availability.

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