‘The Holiday’ (2006): A House Share and Unexpected Romance


I cannot properly explain my attachment to this film. It’s certainly not for a course in moral lessons but rather because it’s a charming little journey story through English countryside. What The Holiday does lack, it makes up for with its warm, heartfelt and “real” story-telling abilities.

The Holiday (2006) Film Review

Work for Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) is a whole agenda unto itself. As the owner of her own company, everything Amanda does fuels her workaholic tendencies. It also happens that she hasn’t shed a single tear since she was fifteen, which is quite inconvenient just now in light of the fact her boyfriend has cheated on her with his twenty-something year old receptionist. Amanda kicks the guy out and plans for a break from her L.A. life.

Across the pond, Iris (Kate Winslet) has just the opposite problem occupying her. She has a terrible case of unrequited love for her ex. To add insult to injury, he announces his engagement at their office party. Spontaneously, and in the hopes of forgetting Jasper, Iris lists her cottage on a home exchange site, where she meets Amanda. The two agree to a home exchange for two whole weeks, two weeks during which both women hope to get over the complicated relationships with their pasts, and the men in their lives.

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the holiday
‘The Holiday’ (2006): A House Share and Unexpected Romance. Review of the Nancy Meyers romantic comedy. #Romance #CameronDiaz #Movies Click To Tweet

Like so many other titles, I am going to be upfront about his movie: morally, it is reprehensible…and yes, somehow it’s still completely irresistible. Director and screenplay writer Nancy Meyers knows how to hook an audience with a good story made up of charming characteristics that may result in fairy-tale endings. She does this with the re-make of The Parent Trap, and she does it again with The Holiday. Her skill in the director’s chair and talent with a pen somehow pulls in the viewer without making us roll our eyes in disgust at the billionth re-hashing of a plot that has already been told time and again. As a result, Meyers makes her work seem “all new.”

The Holiday is comprised of many a special moment. One of which is perhaps the most unexpected scene since it involves a secret; this 120 second scene alone makes the movie worth all of the sketchy behavior we wade through because it’s that charming in its lovely innocence. Choices aside, I’d be fibbing if I didn’t say the characters are still insanely likable. But it’s Iris’ story that is the sweetest. She is the character we most root for; to stand up for herself and of course, to snag a happy end.

The one issue I do have as regards a character is with Graham. He seems to be a stereotype before we are given a more intimate glimpse into his life which is nothing like we are led to believe of him on first impressions; basically, it’s a misleading ideal. Rounding out this award-winning cast is also British actor Rufus Sewell (does anyone else know why he always seems to play the jerk!?). Perhaps this isn’t the one romantic comedy we should reach for at the video store, but at its heart, it is a really lovely story that has a cute ending and some poignant moments – and the acting is just as wonderful.

This is certain one ‘holiday’ I don’t regret having taken.

‘The Holiday’ (2006): A House Share and Unexpected Romance. Review of the Nancy Meyers romantic comedy. All text © Rissi JC

CONTENT: two strangers sleep together after knowing each other barely fifteen minutes [and sleep together again later, seen in various states of undress lying in bed]. Implications suggest characters get drunk and engage in one-night stands [suggesting this is “love” even just for “one night”]. One brief scene implies suicide. There is some strong profanity [one full f-work, another partial, and other commonplace profanity. There’s some sexual references, and a few British slang words. PG-13 is the film’s rating.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Sounds interesting…in fact if it was a book {as well as being a bit cleaned up}I would definitely read it! It really does sound sweet and I love the idea of the two women switching homes for two weeks :)
    And, though I've never seen Rufus Sewell in anything,{…wait maybe 1 or two things…he looks familiar}I can understand him being cast as the "jerk." He just has that look about him… ;)

  2. Trinka – despite its immoralities, this film is one of the sweetest movies I've seen. Sounds like strange logic, I know but something about it is truly moving.

    The switching house plot is great – and Iris' (Kate Winslet) story is just priceless.

    Some guys are "made" to play the jerk in stories, some not so much – and some are type cast in that role. I like Rufus but generally speaking he ALWAYS plays a bit of jerk. Guess someone has to play the unlikable dude. ;D

    Sierra – it is sweet – really sweet. Some stories just don't appeal to a person and that is okay. Believe me, a LOT of movies don't interest me one bit. =D

    Juju – I know, right!? Don't know what it is about this but I simply love it. =)

    Holly – me, too! I never seem to watch it much but I did see it over Christmas again – finally, and "fell in love" with it a bit more. =) Such a great story.

    Jack Black… you are SO right! Him cast in this part is very unusual.

    Thanks – I do try to present a realistic picture of the film while giving my honest opinion on whether or not I liked it. But that doesn't mean I am saying everyone should see it.

    Really glad you dropped by, Holly. Thanks. =)

  3. So do I, Ruth! Iris' story-line is just SO sweet and makes it (almost) worth everything. But the, the whole subplot with Graham is really cute, too. =)

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