The Holiday

I think this is what a low-stakes, low-investment romantic comedy should be! There are, I guess, suggestions of conflict and stakes — will Cameron Diaz’s character stay in England? will Kate Winslet break free of her manipulative boss? — but you know exactly how every plot line will unfold and resolve within the first ten minutes of the film. The moments of genuine surprise — Jude Law’s character having two children, Dustin Hoffman randomly being in a Blockbuster — are joyous. All this movie is is a vehicle to let some charming people bounce around each other’s orbit and to make you feel slightly warmer, and it does that very well.

I think the two quibbles I have are:

  1. It is one hundred and forty minutes! That is too long for an airy romantic comedy. Cut out thirty minutes of the fluff (though I suppose one would argue that it’s all fluff) and it’s a much leaner enterprise.
  2. The movie suggests at some clever meta-commentary on romantic comedies, between the WGA playing a role and the (fairly well-done!) non-diegetic movie trailer shenanigans. It could have leaned into this like three degrees more and still gotten some mileage, I think.
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