out of Five
Running time: 135
Watchable, but overly long and ultimately disappointing romcom, despite spirited performances and the occasional sparkly moment.
What's it all about?
The latest film from Romcom Queen Nancy Meyers (Something's Gotta Give) is an unabashed romantic fantasy, in which Kate Winslet plays Iris, a Daily Telegraph writer who lives in a picture-perfect rose-covered cottage in Surrey. Desperate to get over her caddish ex (Rufus Sewell), she logs onto a home-exchange website and ends up spending the Christmas holiday in a swanky LA apartment belonging to recently single movie marketeer Amanda (Cameron Diaz).
Once in Tinseltown, Iris befriends a Hollywood screenwriting veteran (Eli Wallach) and a quirky composer (Jack Black, turning it all the way down to one). Meanwhile, back in Surrey, Amanda finds love with Iris's impossibly good-looking brother, Graham (Jude Law).
Winslet proves a dab hand at both comedy and, in a delightful throwaway scene, air guitar, whilst Cameron Diaz is as lovely and appealing as she always is and Jude Law gives a surprisingly relaxed and charming performance as Graham. It should come as no surprise that the role was intended for Hugh Grant.
The supporting cast are good too, particularly Sewell (typecast as a bastard yet again) and Wallach, whose twinkly charm almost makes you forget how terrible the dialogue is. That said, there are a couple of good gags (such as an amusing call-waiting mix-up) although if you've seen the trailer you've already seen both of them.
The film is way too long and it drags horribly in places. Similarly, a lot of the jokes are badly thought out and fall horribly flat (eg
Cameron hearing Trailer Voiceover Man in her head).
The Holiday is perfectly watchable but it's never really engaging or funny. In fact, the Lindsay Lohan action movie (a spoof, glimpsed in one of Cameron's trailers) looks like a lot more fun and you might find yourself wishing you could watch that instead.