I’m fully aware that the holidays are over… as in, long gone, but I have still been watching a few Christmas movies. I mean, why not? The entire month of December, I kept searching to see what was on because I wanted to watch as many Christmas movies as possible.
During my search, I came across “The Holiday” from 2006, staring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black. I have probably seen it before, but if so, I couldn’t really place the plot, and I feel like so many people say it’s their favorite festive movie.
So, I recorded it and FINALLY got around to watching it a few weeks ago and now I can see why so many people love watching it. If you haven’t seen it, the movie begins with Kate Winslet’s character, Iris, is at her office holiday party in London and has to witness her boss — who is also her lover — get engaged.
On the other side of the world in Los Angeles, California, is Cameron Diaz’s character, Amanda, and she calls out her boyfriend for sleeping with someone else after he had another routine bender.
Amanda convinces her staff — she creates movie trailers — that she needs a vacation. She goes online to find the best location spot and comes across a cozy cottage in London.
She messages the owner who happens to be — surprise! — Iris. They start chatting via web chat and it’s very reminiscent of the AOL days. Iris says the house is only up for a complete swap, meaning they trade homes, cars, everything.
When Amanda says she lives in LA, Iris is in and they agree to swap the following day in order to escape their miserable lives as single women (ha).
When Amanda gets to London, I was quickly reminded of all the little things that make London so different than the US — mostly how small everything is. Coming from a sprawling home in Hollywood, the coziness of the cottage seems to wear off quite quickly, sending Amanda to the store where she proceeds to drink a bottle of wine while shopping and she buys an impressive charcuterie spread that she eats sitting in bed.
She decides this isn’t for her; that possibly, this made things worse, and she packs up her suitcase and plans to catch a flight home the following day. That is, until she is awakened in the middle of the night by a knock on the door.
It’s a drunk Graham (Jude Law) who says he is Iris’ brother. He has made it a habit to stay at Iris’ when he can’t make it home. It should come as no surprise that they immediately hook up and feelings get complicated.
Meanwhile, in LA, Iris is living it up in Amanda’s mansion, which has a pool, electronic window shades and a massive DVD collection — ha! Miles (Jack Black) shows up to pick up some of Amanda’s ex’s stuff… and even though his girlfriend is in the car, you can tell there are some immediate sparks.
I’m sure you can all guess what happens during the rest of the movie — or likely, you’ve seen it because it came out 14 years ago.
I just love watching it because it reminds me of London, and there are some good scenes of the LA house. Plus, how cool would it be to swap houses with someone? I kept wondering if people really do that; I mean it’s sort of like AirBnb. I would be up to swap, but it would have to be someone very trusting and a cat lover, because I’d be really worried about leaving Blanche 🙂
I watched “The Holiday” again yesterday and honestly, it’s not that Christmassy… not that it really matters. I do what I want!
Is there a holiday movie you watch all year long?
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