Friday, January 05, 2007

Tonight's Movie: The Holiday (2006)

Watching THE HOLIDAY, a feel-good romantic comedy, was true bliss. I laughed, I cried, I left the theater with a happy glow. A grand start to the New Year, in terms of movie-going.

As you may know if you have read any of the recent reviews of the film, the plot concerns two lovelorn ladies who impulsively exchange houses for two weeks at Christmastime. Amanda (Cameron Diaz), an L.A. producer of movie trailers, trades places with Iris (Kate Winslet), a writer at London's Daily Telegraph. Amanda meets Iris's charming brother (Jude Law) within hours of her arrival, while Amanda makes friends with both an elderly screenwriter (Eli Wallach) and a kind musician (Jack Black).

I particularly enjoyed Wallach's character teaching Iris how to be "the leading lady in her own life" by having her view countless screwball comedies from the Golden Era. (There's a cameo in a scene at the video store that's a lot of fun.) I also liked that Law's apparent playboy-about-town isn't quite what he seems. To say more would spoil the surprise. And OK, I'll say it: The man is drop-dead gorgeous. Those eyes!

As with other Nancy Meyers films, such as BABY BOOM and SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, THE HOLIDAY has fabulous sets. I want Jude Law's kitchen! And my jaw dropped with wonder when I got a look at Amanda's DVD library and screening facilities; as Iris gasped, "That's intense!" The L.A. Times recently ran an article on the set designs for Meyers' films in general and this film in specific.

Trailers can be found here. The last trailer on the list has at least 3 scenes I don't believe were in the movie, which was rather interesting.

A postscript, we saw a trailer for BECAUSE I SAID SO with Diane Keaton and Lauren Graham (GILMORE GIRLS). It looked a bit like a cinematic GILMORE GIRLS, concerning the relationships between three generations of women; Keaton plays the controlling grandmother. It may not be great, but I have enjoyed several of Keaton's "family" films and hope it's entertaining.


Blogger Irene said...

I saw previews for this and it looked cute but I am not a Jack Black fan (though he was good in King Kong). Maybe I will give this a chance though perhaps on DVD.

I went to see Dreamgirls. I grew up in the era of Motown and Diana Ross and felt this movie lived up to that era. And Jennifer Hudson. Wow! Can that girl sing and act. She had the better, meatier role. I hope she wins for best supporting actress.

Now regarding Remember The Night. Finally watched it last night and yes I liked it. I was taken by surprise at the ending and a little disappointed. The way his man servant was portrayed was a little jarring. One forgets now days how blacks were looked upon back then.
Tonight it will be my other library loan, Bachelor Mother.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I've never seen a Jack Black film, but the ads for his movies look pretty dreadful. He was A-OK in this, though, other than a couple of cuss words. He was probably the calmest character in the bunch, very sweet and thoughtful.

I'm glad you got to see REMEMBER THE NIGHT. The library got it to you quickly after they located it! I kind of liked that the film acknowledged she'd done something wrong and needed to pay a price, but on reflection they really filmed it quite darkly -- it's not as though she were going away for murder or you think they ended up together ultimately? I can't decide. I'll be interested to see how that hits me next time.

You make a good point about the portrayal of his butler. For good or ill movies can offer a window into the times, and the depiction in that sequence was definitely over the top.

Glad you got to see it. Hope you have a great time watching BACHELOR MOTHER.

Best wishes, Laura

11:11 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

Yes I do think they end up together. Her little speech at the end about how she would serve her time and then her record would be clear and if he still wanted her they could be together was the way the writer conveyed to us that is how it would end. As the movie got closer to the end I kept thinking, how will they resolve this? Just a kiss and a hug and fade to black. Ah, well.

I did not watch Bachelor Mother last night. Maybe today :)

12:38 PM  

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