Skip to comments."The Holiday" movie review
Posted on 12/31/2006 1:29:53 PM PST by A_perfect_lady
It is rare that a movie affects me so profoundly that I feel compelled to write about it, but Nancy Meyers' "The Holiday," starring Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Jack Black, is just such a movie:
It is so bad it drove me from the theater before it was even finished. I pride myself on sitting through to the bitter end during even the most ridiculous movies. It's how I got through What Dreams May Come, with clenched teeth and steely determination. But pride goeth before an evacuation, and after one hour and forty minutes, my friend and I looked at each other and just said "Let's get a drink." We left feeling that not only could we predict exactly what was going to happen, but that even if we were wrong, frankly, Scarlett, we didn't give a damn.
It's a sad day when I don't give a damn what happens to Kate Winslet, because I love that actress. She is my favorite actress, period. But I just couldn't take anymore of this stupid, trivial, bloated, utterly unoriginal movie.
Most of all, I could not take any more watching people dither. There is no other word for it and it's endemic in Hollywood these days: dithering. There is little grandeur left in our celebrities. For women, acting now consists of fidgeting, squirming, looking around, biting the lower lip, wringing the hands, playing e.n.d.l.e.s.s.l.y with their hair, sighing, and stammering before finally looking up and slowly but surely letting loose that quavering million-dollar smile that is supposed to burst onto the scene like the sun emerging from behind a cloud. This trend started with Diane Keaton, I'm sure if it, and before anyone rips into me, let me say I am sure she is a very nice woman and I am equally sure that my remarks will never matter in her world, so let me just have my little soapbox moment: I hate this dithering syndrome and in the last twenty years it has spread like wildfire. Michelle Pfeiffer dithers, Julia Roberts dithers... and Cameron Diaz is like a ditherer on meth.
The male version, enshrined by Hugh Grant and quickly being picked up by Jude Law, is manifested by opening and closing your mouth several times as if searching for the right words (usually evidence that the writer was searching for them too, and never found them, raising the question why they are writers in the first place). While opening and closing the mouth, it is apparently necessary to blink rapidly several times and then swallow nice and hard so the entire audiences lifts and lowers their heads at once, watching your adam's apple bob.
I guess this is supposed to be some form of new realism. After all, in the world of "The Holiday," people who make their living off their creativity in the highly competitive world of the entertainment industry apparently can barely put together a sentence in real life. So they dither until you want to just pluck their feathers right off, toss them in a pot of boiling water, and roar "Soup's on!!" like some Cossack's wife.
But the dithering is not the only thing that drove me up the wall about this boring movie. Here's another thing, and it was in Something's Gotta Give (also by Meyers) as well. Note the scenes of people having a great time around the dining room table? Wine, food, obviously great conversation... you can SEE them just being witty and fascinating with each other, their hands going like crazy, everyone enthralled. But you can't hear them because some cheesy ballad is overlaying the muted conversation while the camera swings slowly around (and around and around) the table. Why is this?
I'll tell you why: writers today cannot actually come up with witty, fascinating, enthralling conversation. You can tell that by the rest of the dialogue. So they insert this little scene and you have to just IMAGINE how witty they are being. They must be witty, look how much fun they are having. When, later, one of the characters walks outside on a windy night and says, "This is some crazy weather we're having," the other character says, "Don't blow away!" and they smile at each other like they have just dazzled the snot out of themselves, you start being thankful for the cheesy ballad. In fact, you could have played a cheesy ballad through this whole movie, sped it up, let them do the fast-forward dither to plunky piano music, and it might have been enjoyable. Or at least, it wouldn't have been 2 and a half hours long.
I'm sorry, did I forget to do the obligatory rundown of the plot? Two women just emerging from bad relationships swap houses and find true love. There. I just told you the whole story. That doesn't take 2 and a half hours, now does it?
I guess this is all I need to know about him anymore.
I'd like to add that Cameron Diaz and Jude Law, while both very pretty people, have all the sexual chemistry of a banana and a pineapple lying together in a tupperware bowl.
Thank you. I hope I saved you some money, too. LOL!
The $64,000 question is, which one is the banana?
Great review! Makes me want to get out a Cary Grant classic for this evening ...
That made me laugh and I have the flu, so it hurt!
That's not just actresses, it's a good description of many real, live women these days, too. Seldom has an epoch been "blessed" with so many completely fake people.
Sheesh. Now I need a drink!
Near-perfect review, ma'am!
She has always been a terrible actress, but people seem to notice it more now that her looks are fading. Incidentally, about a year ago, I saw a list of the 10 people who looked the worst in High-Definition (HD) somewhere online, and she was near the top of the list.
Women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodies.... If you think that rape should be legal, then don't vote. -- Cameron Diaz on Oprah, 9/29/2004
Still from "The Hitcher" (look! she's dithering!)
Thanks for the review.
Did you see this movie?
no..not too high on list..did see Volver(Penelope Cruz) last night.. Well done flick - seeing Children of Men today
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