The Holiday (2006) Film Review | Advent Film Calendar Day 14

One of the last things you want before Christmas is a heartbreak but this is exactly what happened to Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz). They both live on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean – Iris in Surrey and Amanda in LA but they are both going through the same thing – cheating partners and are practically on the verge of a breakdown. Both girls then decide to go on a website that allows you to swap houses (something that seems completely random in this day and age, you would just book an Airbnb) – and basically swap lives with a complete stranger and before they know it, they are living in each other’s houses. 

The characters are portrayed in a loveable way, their slight naivety (especially in Kate Winslet’s character) and obvious heartbreak in the beginning makes you feel sorry for them and you’re secretly hoping that they find their true love as soon as possible. 

But before you know it, they do. You can see Iris falling in love with Miles (Jack Black) even though there is a slight problem – his girlfriend Maggie (Shannyn Sossamon) whilst Amanda is falling for Graham (Jude Law), Iris’ brother. Watching the two love stories play out in the holiday season whilst watching the women find themselves in a way is the perfect, uplifting combination.

It is also refreshing to see Kate Winslet and Jude Law play roles that were completely out of their comfort zone at the time. Winslet was mainly known for acting in period dramas whilst Law was often in period dramas and science fiction films. Seeing them both out of their comfort zones is a nice surprise in a way and adds to the comfort of the film.

If you are expecting an over the top, cinematic masterpiece then this isn’t the film for you. It might not be a visually amazing film, but the heartwarming atmosphere makes up for it. This film is very much like a comfort blanket – it is a Christmas classic after all and you can’t help but feel at home when watching it. It’s the perfect holiday romance film, slightly cringy but makes your heart feel cozy in a way. You almost have to watch it this Christmas. 

Words by Izzy Hawksworth.

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