The Holiday is a ridiculous movie. Like most Nancy Meyers films – and, to be fair, most rom-coms – it exists in an absurdly whitewashed world of unexamined privilege, flexible geography and a complete lack of economic or parental responsibilities beyond the bare minimum required to steer the plot.
That said, maybe the film caught us both in a good mood or something, because despite our best efforts, we both kinda loved it. Blame the funny, attractive cast. Blame the luxurious property porn. Blame Christmas spirit. Whatever it is, for all its very obvious flaws, The Holiday goes down like a warm mug of mulled wine.
Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz star as two modern 30-something women with crappy love lives. Winslet is hopelessly in love with colleague Rufus Sewell, who is shamelessly leading her on despite recently becoming engaged to another woman. Meanwhile, Diaz is a workaholic trailer editor who furiously dumps her cheating boyfriend in the first act, but is physically incapable of crying over him, or anything.
The two connect on a suspiciously well SEO-optimised advert for a house swapping service, and impulsively cross the Atlantic to trade lives for the Christmas holidays. Along the way, Diaz hooks up with Winslet’s suspiciously well-groomed widower Jude Law, while Winslet meets-cute with musician Jack Black, in a rare relatively straight role.
The levels of conflict are, to be honest, fairly nonexistent, but it’s a charming little ride if you don’t think too much about it. The film received mixed reviews on release in 2006, but made money and endures as a minor festive classic to this day. Given the careers of the four principle cast members, a reunion might be difficult to pin down, but in this week’s podcast we do our best to imagine what it might look like anyway…
You can download or stream our The Holiday podcast on all good podcasting platforms by searching for Beyond The Box Set on your app of choice, or by following the links at the top of this blog post. You can also access a special extended version of this week’s episode by signing up to our Patreon, where we also offer a weekly bonus show, a 30 second ad slot on the podcast and the opportunity to select a movie for us to cover on a future episode.
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Next week, two returning guests team up with another modern Christmas classic. Until then, happy listening and remember – Jude Law is Daddy.