The Holiday

2006

The Holiday

Critics Consensus

While it's certainly sweet and even somewhat touching, The Holiday is so thoroughly predictable that audiences may end up opting for an early check-out time.

48%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 153

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 507,499
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The Holiday Photos

Movie Info

Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy Holiday stars Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as two women who exchange houses in order to get a new lease on life. After each suffers her fair share of romantic disappointments, Englishwoman Iris (Winslet) and L.A. woman Amanda (Diaz) meet on-line at a website devoted to helping people exchange houses for vacations. Each agrees to spend the Christmas holiday at the other's home. While each suffers from a minor case of culture shock, both women also end up becoming involved with a man. Iris makes the acquaintance of an upbeat everyman played by Jack Black, while Amanda spends time with a handsome Brit played by Jude Law. Both women must decide what to do with these new relationships as their pre-arranged house switch is scheduled to last less than two weeks. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

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Cast

Jude Law
as Graham
Eli Wallach
as Arthur Abbott
Bill Macy
as Ernie
Kathryn Hahn
as Bristol
Alex O'Loughlin
as Kissing Couple
Odette Annable
as Kissing Couple
Bundle Williams
as Girl in Pub
Susan Dizon
as Newspaper Party Guest
Terry Diab
as Newspaper Editor
Kenneth Danziger
as Editor-in-Chief
Hope Riley
as Smith-Alcott, Sarah
Steven Bruns
as Couple on Plane
Nikki Novak
as Couple on Plane
Judith Drake
as Women in Plane
Pamela Dunlap
as Women on Plane
Hal Douglas
as Movie Trailer Narrator
Jay Simpson
as Limo Driver
Siobhan Pestano
as Couple With Dog
Charles Dinsdale
as Couple With Dog
Sarah Flind
as Market Clerk
Darlene Ann Harris
as Arthur's Nurse
Marcell Brown
as Airport Guard
Marina Morgan
as Graham's Friend
Lynden Edwards
as Graham's Friend
Jon Prescott
as Maggie's Boyfriend
Patrick Cavanaugh
as Young Man at WGA
Justin Collins
as Young Man at WGA
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News & Interviews for The Holiday

Critic Reviews for The Holiday

All Critics (153) | Top Critics (41)

  • While the director tips her hat to classic Hollywood comedies -- Iris watches Howard Hawks's His Girl Friday for lessons in leading-lady "gumption" -- The Holiday wallows in too much earnest relationship talk, without saying much.

    Feb 3, 2007 | Full Review…

    Tom Beer

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A leisurely feelgood rom-com.

    Dec 30, 2006 | Full Review…

    Anna Smith

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A lot of ideas are circulating and the characters have taken hold of our emotions. If only Meyers had taken the quickest way there, it would be a much better movie.

    Dec 30, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The Holiday's redeeming feature (and it's a considerable one) is the 91-year-old Eli Wallach's astute and endearing performance.

    Dec 30, 2006 | Full Review…
  • This romantic comedy ends up feeling soggy, syrupy and so bloating it'll put you to sleep before the pudding's done.

    Dec 30, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • There's nothing authentic or personal about The Holiday -- it's as chilling as heart-warmers get.

    Dec 8, 2006 | Rating: D

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Holiday

  • Dec 05, 2012
    The lighthearted romantic comedy, The Holiday is a fun and entertaining Christmas tale. Two women fed up with their romantic failures meet online and switch houses for two weeks in order to escape their problems for the Christmas season. Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black form a great cast that has good chemistry. The writing is a bit weak and obvious, but it still manages to have a certain charm to it and delivers all the tender moments that a romantic comedy is expected to. In a lot of ways The Holiday is just a stereotypical rom-com, but it uses the conventions well and is uplifting.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 12, 2012
    Despite initial reservations about any romantic comedy, especially one comprising Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, I was pleasantly and gladly surprised by this light humoured, touching film, directed and written by Nancy Meyer. Telling the story of two women who swap houses, one in Britain, one in the US, to escape love and men, they eventually find themselves falling in love with those closet to the woman's house they are living in. The plot itself is simple. So simple, that any average filmgoer will work out the ending before they have finished reading the blurb on the back of the DVD case. But despite this, "The Holiday" combines a touching, and although the phrase is perhaps the most over-used and cheesy, "heart-warming" event. The script is nothing clever, and the camera work is average. The acting is as expected and the humour silly and a times embarrassing for the viewer. Despite all this, throughout the film, you feel yourself slowing growing more attached to the characters, even though, in my personal case, I didn't want to. Jack Black is perhaps the funniest of the four. His good acting skills are often forgotten amongst his other starring roles as pandas, but his chemistry with Kate Winslet is excellent, and although he plays himself, as always he plays it very well. It would be silly to say that there is anything special about "The Holiday" but, unlike the majority of rom-coms, it does have a special quality. A quality which sets it above the rest, as the audience connect with all of the characters in a unique and individual way, whilst enjoying the kind, gentle, but nice and touching story which "The Holiday" delivers.
    Adam K Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2011
    Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) is a woman in unrequited love nursing a broken heart because the man she is in love with has got engaged to another woman... Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) is a woman nursing a broken heart... and possibly a bruised fist... because her boyfriend has been cheating on her with a 24 year-old receptionist. In an attempt to get over their respective broken hearts, they decide to go on a house-swap vacation - Iris spending Christmas at Amanda's mansion in L.A. and Amanda at Iris' quaint cottage in Suffolk. The condition - No men. The Holiday is a little bit of a con to be honest. A rom-com which says it's a Christmas film, but with so few references to the event itself that it could have been set at any time of the year. The good thing that setting it at the Christmas/New Year period does give this film is a "ticking clock" aspect for the characters of Iris and Amanda as they are only on vacation. The two female leads are given good parts. Cameron Diaz gets the opportunity to display decent comedy chops as the "fish out of water" who has to contend not only with a house that is smaller than she's used to but driving on the left hand side of the road. An additional device which adds to the character of Amanda is the use of the stereotypical Hollywood film trailer voice which acts as her inner dialogue. Kate Winslet treads a well-worn path in the role of Iris which you could almost say is Bridget Jones in all but name. The magic for the character of Iris comes out in the scenes where Iris meets retired Hollywood screenwriter Arthur Abbot, portrayed by Eli Wallach, who mends her broken heart with his advice whilst she helps him accept that he was a key player in the Hollywood community. Alongside, the two female leads, there are two decent performances by Jude Law in the role of Graham - who fulfills the "man of mystery" role until his background story is revealed in the second half of the film - and Miles, portrayed in a suitably understated performance by Jack Black, who doesn't fall into the trap of being instant "boyfriend material", even though you can see the eventual outcome in his role a mile off. As I said earlier, The Holiday is a bit of con as a Christmas film, but it's a nice romantic comedy whilst you're feeling warm and fuzzy at Christmas.
    Theta S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 03, 2011
    The Holiday is about two woman who are hopelessly romantic, and are trying to escape men, at least for the holidays. One of the woman who comes from the city makes a reservation at a small country like home, while the woman who lives in that home, makes a reservation to the house that belongs to the woman coming from the city. Soon instead of escaping romance, romance comes to them. The film offers a sweet and somewhat touching feeling to it, and the performances are well put. Their not great performances, but they aren't bad performances either. People who are wanting to watch the film because of its plot and it's actors/actresses are sure to be pleased. But some may be angry by its rather long length of time (138 Min.). I mean, at some parts it can be entertaining, but at other parts it can be dull and tiring. It's a good thing that the film adds some laughs, and drama on the way. Now, the film centers on the two woman as it moves on. But Iris (Played by Kate Winslet) is not centered too much on. In fact, most of the movie centers on Amanda (Played by Cameron Diaz). Her story isn't as interesting as Iris's story. And when it does concentrate on Iris's story it attempts to develop a love story between Miles (Played by Jack Black) and her. It does very little with their connection because through most of the movie Miles is already dating an actress. In fact in Iris's story it centers more on a new friend of hers named Arthur (Played by Eli Wallach) who is an elderly old man. It's almost as if the real love story is on Iris and Arthur rather than on Miles. It's sad because Iris's story can be so much more interesting, but instead the script becomes lazy with her which is tragic. If Iris's story was improved along with Amanda's, and if it concentrated on both in a fair manner then this movie would have had more of a success. Instead it results in an overlong, predictable, and unmemorable movie in which will be easily forgotten for most. But for those who are a fan of romantic-comedies, and are still interested in the plot are sure to be somewhat entertained. Just make sure you know that the length of it is 138 minutes before watching.
    Emmanuel T Super Reviewer

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