Some women have a man in their past (or present) who like to keep them on the hook while they search for someone else. It starts off as dating but eventually he only wants to be friends, usually because he has been dating someone else. When this guy realizes that you are starting to move on he suddenly starts peppering you with attention. When he has it he becomes less interested. He’s there, but never fully. Just enough to give you hope, however fruitless and one sided you know it is. It’s heartbreaking and you feel ashamed that you wasted months or even years on someone who only loved you a little, if at all. It happened to me. It’s happened to a couple of my friends.
Kate Winslet’s British character, Iris, in “The Holiday” is one of those women. When the man she loves gets engaged to someone else she decides to take a Christmas holiday to L.A.. She switches homes with Amanda (Cameron Diaz) who escapes her Hollywood career and a relationship that just ended to visit Cotswolds in England. Iris meets Miles (Jack Black) and befriends him. Amanda meets Graham (Jude Law) who happens to be Iris’s brother.
Iris, when she finally starts feeling happy, finds that Jasper shows up (you know, the guy that knew she loved him and got engaged to someone else). She realizes that she isn’t in love with him anymore and sends him packing. I personally have had this experience and it’s truly exhilarating to send the person who treated you so poorly away.
Amanda is finally able to open up and realizes she has fallen in love with Graham. I’ve had this experience too. Anyone who has will tell you how great it feels.
While the Christmas season is more of a backdrop in this film, it does add some festive elements. The four main characters end up together on New Years Eve in the happiest of Hollywood endings.
This movie endeared itself to me in the first several minutes. That scene when Iris realizes that Jasper is engaged is heart wrenching, and Winslet plays it so well. Like I said, been there. It really does hurt that much. The ending gives me hope, as I wish it does for anyone who has been through such an experience, that there is someone out there who will be there fully.
This film is sweet, funny, a little sappy but you won’t even mind. You’ll just enjoy the ride.