Saturday, February 03, 2007

Take a Holiday

Home delivery can be a little iffy during festive periods such as Christmas but some gifts are still wonderful even savoured a month late. Just like the unexpected lavishly stuffed Christmas basket at the door, The Holiday is one film that never fails to enchant and surprise.

Taking a page from previous holiday romances with an ensemble cast such as one of my favourite mushy movies Love Actually, The Holiday tells the story of two remarkably different ladies from opposite sides of the transatlantic pond, similar only in their mutual bad luck with men. Iris ( played by the quintessentially English Rose Kate Winslet ) is a sweet-natured journalist who's been desperately and hopelessly smitten with her caddish colleague Jasper since forever, while Amanda ( played by the suitably Californian blond beach babe Cameron Diaz ) is the fiercely independent Los Angeles career woman who has succeeded only in pushing away every man who loves her, or at least that's what her philandering ex wants her to think.

Jude Law
Gorgeous Brother Graham
Be serious, wouldn't you sleep with him if he was stupid, drunk and horny?

In a serendipitous meeting online, the heartbroken pair decide on impulse to exchange houses and lives for two weeks and that's where the movie actually begins. While Amanda learns all about playing house in picture-book Surrey with Iris' shockingly gorgeous brother Graham ( played by the amazingly radiant Jude Law ) and his two near criminally adorable children, Iris finds herself in a luxury hacienda striking up a friendship with a reclusive veteran screenwriter who cleverly nudges her out of her wimpy best friend persona into the radiant leading lady that she deserves to be - and in time winning the heart of the witty musician played by Jack Black.

I don't deny that cold-hearted cynics - like me, I'll admit - would find themselves utterly awash and swept away by the sheer schmaltzy syrupy saccharine but give it a chance and the movie actually works, especially with the dreaded V-Day fast approaching ( despite this obviously Christmassy offering ). Charming Calvin certainly enjoyed the sugary fare but then my man has always had a shockingly notorious sweet tooth.

And I've gotta say it worked especially well for me since Amanda's discovery of rural Surrey brought back long repressed memories of that one halcyon summer in the Lake District - where my ISO and I decamped for a weekend to search for the Wordsworth's Daffodils. Actually got stranded by the last train but that certainly didn't cast a damper on two adventuresome boys on holiday. No doubt captured a host of daffodils on camera but most of the time it was long quiet walks down deserted country lanes ( enlivened by our nonstop discussions about life and love ), hearty pub fare consisting of dishes I can hardly recall ( and honestly wouldn't want to know the ingredients ) and hours of fun lampooning dreadfully dull BBC dramas.

Paul : Do you recall that little B&B we stayed in?
MY ISO : The dollhouse one where I had to jump on the bed so that you could open the toilet door?
Paul : And that minuscule attic window where you leaned out yelling obscenities! Just lucky there was no one out at that time of night.
My ISO : Ah. Drunk on a pint. Those were the days.
Paul : Don't forget chips and Bailey's ice cream.

Yes, I can be a sappy fool every once in a while.


strapping.shane said...

Ah I love this movie... =P

Reminds me of Dan and me.

jase said...

anyone on anyday would lap up mr graham even if he was everything of the above...

m5lvin said...

It is supposedly a Christmas movie and so I waited and waited and waited till eventually I lost interest in watching it...sigh~

try Bailey with hot Milo...It tastes good..~

JL said...

a very nice movie indeed.

*sniff sniff
someone pass me the tissue please

thompsonboy said...

Stupid UIP position it as this year's Love Actually. Well for one, Love Actually never made it to our shores (no thanks to stuborn directors to refuse any further cuts. Singapore aired it without the porn actors but MY censorship board wanted to snip the art gallery scene) and the stories are different.

what so love actually about the holiday other than Christmas as the common denominator?