The Holiday review, The Holiday DVD reviews

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Buy your copy from The Holiday (2006) starstarstarno starno star Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns, Rufus Sewell
Director: Nancy Myers
Rating: PG-13
Category: Comedy

Okay, guys. I know the beautiful models featured on Bullz-Eye are really hot, but this is your chance to get an actual living breathing female in your bed in three easy steps. Step 1: Buy two tickets to the movie “The Holiday,” starring Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jack Black. Step 2: Invite female to the movie (Note: She does not need to look like a Bullz-Eye model). Step 3: Stay awake for all two hours and 20 minutes of the movie.

Yes gentlemen, it’s really that easy. This is a romantic comedy that, while not necessarily teeming with new ideas, if you follow the steps outlined above, it’s certain you won’t care. Written and directed by Nancy Meyers (“Something's Gotta Give,” “What Women Want”) “The Holiday” is a competently crafted holiday film that takes well established conventions of the romantic comedy genre, but somehow makes them fresh enough and likable enough that many women (and yes, some men) will find it difficult not to enjoy themselves.

“The Holiday” tells the story of two professional women, one in Los Angeles and the other outside of London, who become fed up with the men in their lives and, after finding each other online, decide to switch homes for the holidays. A recipe for Not Gonna See It Salad, some of you guys are no doubt telling yourselves, and normally you would be right to avoid this film like the plague, but somehow this film presents its story of newfound love in a way that manages not to make you sick. Not that the film doesn’t revel in cheesiness, but compared to other films of its ilk, it manages to at least avoid drowning in the cheese.

Part of what makes “The Holiday” work is the performances of the four leads. Cameron Diaz and Jude Law have an undeniable chemistry that steams up the screen in a way that women will melt over, and Kate Winslet and Jack Black, while lacking in the chemistry department, add heart-warming and humorous moments that men and women will find enjoyable. In fact, the less traditional story of Black’s and Winslet’s characters, in which they help an aging Hollywood writer achieve some much-deserved glory, might actually gel with film geeks whether they are in a relationship or not.

“The Holiday” does exceed the length of the average romantic comedy film, especially one released during the holiday season. The movie clocks in at just under two and a half hours, so the staying-awake part may be a challenge for some, but not one scene in the film feels extraneous or doesn’t serve to tell the story. And if you can handle the sight of Jude Law crying like a baby without snickering or swallowing vomit, then you may just enjoy the movie, and if things go really well, wake up the next morning in a much warmer bed.

DVD Features:
The single-disc release of “The Holiday” features a full-length audio commentary with writer/director Nancy Myers, as well as the making-of featurette “Foreign Exchange.”

~Andy Kurtz

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