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E.C. Henry

Billy,

Sorry you didn't love "The Holliday." I saw it and loved many aspects of movie. First and foremost, Jude Law's character. What a stud. His character totally had me hating him untill his two daughters entered the frey. Then I loved him. A widower in desperate search of love -- their's your heart to counter the faux, cotton candy Hollywood stuff.

Agree with you on your point that this movie doesn't raise core male-to-female issues that I can relate too -- but then again few romantic comedies do. The only romantic comedy that ever touched that in a way I could relate to was Sandra Bullock's character in "While You Were Sleeping." Point being: I don't go to the movies hoping to see my problems refected back to me on the big screen, and I don't others do either.

Sidenote: the simularites between Jack Nicholson's smile in "Batman" and Cameron Diaz smile in this movie is errie. I think they're identical, Cameron Diaz is starting to look like a clown!

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

debbieb

Wow Billy! I love the rom com in all its forms, but you are right about so many things! We should elevate the rom com to be something thought-provoking and real, like Eternal Sunshine, but isn't there still a place for one like Nancy Meyers' The Holiday?
Something's Gotta Give was such a romantic and funny movie, with brilliant acting...you gotta give Nancy Meyers credit for that great movie, at least!

That is so funny about Jack Black! I loved Jack so much in High Fidelity and I know he has to be funny in The Holiday at some point...isn't he? And doesn't his hair look groovy :)

I am going to have to see the movie and see what I think of it. I thought it would be a fun holiday season rom com :)

You are making me want to see Eternal Sunshine again now...but even that movie...as wonderful as it is...is not the reality that most people live...but we loved seeing it...looking inside the mind of someone not really like us but then again, very much like us. For me it was a wild and romantic trip into another world.

Billy, your blog always takes my mind to another world and I LOVE IT! Standing O for uplifting the rom com and all of us here!

Happy Holidays! Mele Kalikimaka!

wrong

What a cynical take on a great light movie -
contrary to what you say i found the characters quite real and their situations plausible.

HH

Bugger. I was hopeful that The Holiday would be at least middling. So much of Something's Gotta Give (why don't the big studios come up with better titles?) was so well-written, that is, until it deliquesced into typical Hollywood mung. I would have liked for Erica to maybe wind up with Doc, but of course I suffer from arrested maturity, and my two-bits reflect it.

christina

Hmmm. I'll see it. I hope it's not as flavorless as it's starting to sound. I was kind of excited.

I like Nancy Meyers to a point. I thought Something's Gotta Give went on far too long... It had three endings! But I can't deny its mass appeal. I saw it for a 3rd time on a full 767 and everyone was engaged in the movie and laughing, even the flight crew.

Brooke

I don't care how good or bad this movie is. Jack Black as a romantic lead? I think not.

debbieb

Happy Holidays Billy and writers!

Brooke, what do you mean you can't see Jack Black as a romantic lead? Are you saying that only guys like Jude Law can be romantic leads :)

You have to admit that Jack is looking very adorable with his new haircut :)

I will see THE HOLIDAY too and hope that it turns out to be at least a little funny and romantic.

Yay for the rom com!

Dixon Steele

Interesting (to me, at least) that the only film of Meyers' I truly liked of the last three, she didn't write (What Women Want).

With The Holiday, the movie really only came to life with Eli Wallach's character. He grounded the story and gave it depth and purpose. The rest...snooze.

Ruth Yunker

Well, I was going to rush right out and see The Holiday...soon...to recover from Babel, The Departed and Blood Diamond and even Casino Royale....

Per the houses--I remember being totally pissed off at the incredible hippie lair in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. I was living in my first apartment, like a block away from where that place was supposed to be, and I knew to the penny what all those hippie beads and silk cushions and huge candles and prisms hanging in the windows, and flowers in the hair, really cost.

However--I have a picture of a Jean Harlow movie bedroom, and one day I will have the exact same for myself.

Brooke

Deb, that's exactly what I'm saying. You should know that I'm horribly shallow when it comes to good looks and leading men. I freely admit it.

debbieb

That is so funny Brooke! I love those good looking leading men myself! I was first in line to see Matt McC in Failure to Launch :)

Ruth, I agree that The Holiday should be a good frothy romantic bit of fun after the other great...but very serious movies!

Billy, thanks for keeping the rom com alive with your precious blog here.

Yay for the rom com!

mernitman

EC, You're so right about Cameron the Joker! She really does look scary in this film...

Debbie: I do (and did) give Meyers credit for SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, and I'll admit that I was a bit over-hard on her here --HOLIDAY is not without its minor moments -- but when you compare it to the films she herself quotes from within it (HIS GIRL FRIDAY, etc.)...? How far we have fallen, indeed.

Welcome, Wrong: And I will defend to the death your right to think so, sir.

HH: "...deliquesced into typical Hollywood mung"? Now THAT's good writing.

Christina: Yes, GIVE had moments of greatness, and it's opened some doors for the over-40 rom-com. But HOLIDAY ain't GIVE (and will not, I don't think, endure).

Brooke: He won't float everybody's boat, for sure, but in terms of making more of these kinds of movies? Could happen...

DebbieB: "a little funny and romantic" just about sums it up.

Dixon: And that's me, snoring beside you.

Ruth: I don't even think the people starring in Meyers' movies could afford these houses...


Sal

Hi Billy,
One of the things I was thinking as I came out of "The Holiday" was "I wonder what Billy will make of it" - and I enjoyed your review (rather more erudite than mine), and agreed with much of it. I felt manipulated by the whole film, and annoyed with it, because I liked SGG (not least for the fact that it allows a woman over 35 to have a sex life) and I wanted to like this. However my friend loved it precisely because it was slushy and silly.

Like EC Bonney, I don't necessarily want to see my own problems up on screen, I go to the cinema as an escape (hence my dislike of "gritty northern single parent on a crap estate" films), but if I'm going to see something like a romcom, I at least want an element of "ooh that could be me" ... and "The Holiday" gave me none of that. Like you said, property porn for the middle classes.

Janet

I was considering going to see this for a moment, but it is obviously one of those movies that wouldn't suffer too much from being watched on a smaller screen.

If you have seen The Prestige, I would much rather hear about that. Happy Holidays.

binnie

I know you asked for Billy's opinion, Janet, not mine, but I HATED "The Prestige"!!!!!
It was like "Spy vs. Spy" in Mad Magazine, the way the rivals kept trying to top/kill each other. I got the trick waaaay early and the movie just continued to annoy the hell out of me. Or maybe I hated it because I once dated a magician.

JD

Hi Billy,

I enjoyed "The Holiday." I knew it was gonna try to push my buttons, so I let it, and it did. Jack Black as a romantic lead lets me feel as if I might have a shot at a Kate Winslet, even though I'm probably more of a Kyle Gass. The only truly unbelieveable thing in the film was any scene in which the only two actors were Jude Law and Cameron Diaz, who are so impossibly good-looking they seem like walking specal effects. The picture you posted of the two of them in the car; that's the precise moment I became Aware of those two Faces, and stopped watching the movie and started seeing only the Faces. I didn't even mind how carefully constructed Graham was as a Perfect Man... I thought that was funny.

The best part of the film was Eli Wallach, who came as a total surprise; I don't recall his appearing in any of the trailers. He played a very similar character in an episode of "Studio 60" recently. I would rather have seen a movie exclusively about Arthur Abbott, but I guess that would have been a tougher pitch, huh?

But that leads into what I didn't like about "The Holiday." You mention "an unreal vacuum when it comes to matters of money and livelihood..." It didn't necessarily bug me that these people all had money to burn compared to me, even Iris who at least flew coach. What bothered me was how they made their money. Graham is (OK, I'm starting to forget these incidental details already) a... book publisher? Iris a newspaper writer. Jasper also worked for the paper and is a budding novelist. Okay so far, but they're not Americans, we can't really identify with them anyway. The Americans are movie trailer editors, movie score composers, retired movie writers, movie actresses... can you see where I'm going with this?

A movie set in Hollywood, no problem. A film about other movies, or about film itself, wizard! (Cameron Diaz thinking in terms of movie trailers was welcome bit of filmic conceit.) But with the exception of the Arthur Abbott story, it wasn't about Hollywood... it was about what I think were supposed to be ordinary people, but sure as hell weren't. Well, they may be ordinary to Nancy Meyers.

I'll accept that if you change the characters' professions, the movie might collapse like a house of cue cards. But it still bugged me that the ordinary citizens were all industry professionals.

And Graham's two precious and precocious little girls apparently having their own phones. That bugged me too.

And it was at least 15 minutes too long.

That being said, I repeat, I enjoyed it.

I also saw "Hoop-La," Clara Bow's last fim. Totally irrelevant, but I love Clara Bow and I don't care who knows it :p

Vincent

"...give me the fantasy, but give me... me, please -- at least people and problems I can relate to. That really shouldn't be too much to ask for." I agree with you, Billy, but given the people running the movie biz these days (insulated Ivy Leaguers who only know of life's struggles and experiences secondhand from other movies), it indeed might be too much. More's the pity.

Janet

Thank you binnie. Maybe it is time for Holiday!

mernitman

Sal: Actually I didn't exactly say "property porn for the middle classes" but now I wish I had.

Janet: Haven't caught PRESTIGE yet but hope to soon, and happy holidays back at you.

Binnie, that might have had something to do with it...

JD: Pithily insightful as usual, and let's hear it for Clara.

Vincent: So sad so true...

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