Daily Chick Flick: The Holiday  

I wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone for all the great suggestions. I've got a good running list to work from, though it was admittedly unnerving how many of the suggested titles I have already watched at some point. However, I won't claim to have enjoyed or seen any of them for purposes other than bedding my wife.

Also, it seems like a little clarification is needed on the vaginometer. The higher the number of pink tacos assigned, the more of a horribly cliched, fluffed-up girly cinematic disaster I consider it to be. I suppose it could also be interpreted as how close it is to turning me fully gay, as in Orlando Bloom just placed first in the San Francisco International pansy-growing competition kind of gay.

The film I'm reviewing today thankfully turned out to be a step in the right direction away from yesterday's tragedy. Not that I can rightly say I have any intention of ever watching The Holiday again. When I was all set to select a film for the night from my initial cache, I knew that I needed to go for one that would hopefully cleanse the mental palate of all things Mark Ruffalo. I figured my best shot at this would be Jack Black, even though I suspected he only had a bit part in it.

If you can get past the string of very convenient plot devices that set the wheels in motion, kudos to you. Not that people being cheated on or forlorn in love are outside the realm of possibility, but the ability to set up such a convenient home exchange, on the fly, a week before Christmas, and international no less, would require the hand of God if Hollywood were not otherwise involved.

While there are similarities between the two leading ladies -- Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet -- their characters, stories, and acting talents pretty much diverge early on. Diaz is a high strung business owner of a company that makes movie trailers, and Winslet works as a wedding writer for the Telegraph in London. Diaz breaks up with her man who is cheating because she's emotionally unavailable (she hasn't cried since she was 15). Winslet has been strung along by the same engaged limey douchebag for the past three years, despite the fact that she's adorable and has a sexy accent.

So they switch houses. You know, they go on holiday over the holidays (Double title WIN!). And since they are both running away from a bad relationship of sorts, it only stands to reason that an unexpected (by everyone who has never seen a movie before that is) love should be waiting for them across the pond. Diaz bangs Winslet's brother (played by Jude Law) within 8 hours of her arrival, which is awesome in premise but lame because they didn't show it. Except later on in the film they did show the two post-coitus, but of course Diaz had her bra on. Fucking seriously? Either she just didn't take it off at all, which is just stupid, or she immediately put it back on afterwards, which makes me want to throw her out of a window. In case you haven't seen the movie or guessed where this is headed, Diaz and Law fall for each other regardless of the complicated situation and the fact that he has two little girls. She cries for the first time in 20 years right after her heart grows 5 sizes and she saves Cindy Lou Who from falling off of Who mountain in an overpacked sleigh. Wait -- that's right, isn't it?

I definitely became more attached to Winslet's story, not only because she's an amazing actress, but she also plays someone a little more realistic. She freaks out at the sheer awesomeness of Diaz's L.A. house, she's kind, somewhat quiet, but not so reserved to prevent her from reaching out to befriend an elderly neighbor. In the end she overcomes her unrequited love after he makes an impromptu visit from London, hoping to keep her dangling on the hook for years to come. She finally takes a stand, and a lot of what she does feels much more genuine than anything that's happening at her place back in England. Her romance with Jack Black takes a lot longer than the amount of time required to drink a glass of cheap Brandy, and in the end they both come through some adversity with each other's support. I daresay her emotional adventures in L.A. were almost believable.

What it basically comes down to is that only half of this movie was even tolerable. I found myself sinking into the couch each time they flipped back from Winslet to Diaz, wondering if anyone in any audience anywhere would even give a shit about Diaz and Law's side of the story if they weren't both such pretty women. For reasons as unnecessarily complicated as this movie, I'm giving it 3 pink tacos on the vaginometer. If you must watch it, I suggest seeing if there's a special fan cut of it floating around out there with Diaz's storyline removed, kind of like those guys who repackaged Episode I with Jar Jar cut entirely out of it.


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11 Reasons to Live

  • Monkey Girl  
    May 2, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    Only good part is when Diaz punches Edward Burns in the face....other than that I thought it sucked.

    When do you watch Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley?

    Have you seen Pretty in Pink yet?

  • Miss Yvonne  
    May 2, 2009 at 5:53 PM

    I hated the Diaz storyline. Blech.
    Loved Kate's though...wish they had shown her and Jack Black in bed. It would have been gross but fascinating.

    The pink tacos are genius.

  • Diane  
    May 2, 2009 at 7:21 PM

    Your reviews are fantabulous. Haven't seen this one either and glad about it.

    If mini-series count, the BBC's Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth may be your only opportunity for viewing a quality production this month.

  • hotpants™  
    May 3, 2009 at 2:25 PM

    I quite liked this one. I'm glad you half liked it.

  • Shannon  
    May 4, 2009 at 6:27 AM

    I've been meaning to see it ... but I feel like Diaz always plays the saaaaaame characters in every movie she's in, and that just frustrates me.

  • shine  
    May 4, 2009 at 7:07 AM

    Words cannot express how pissy it makes me when at the beginning of the movie, the women are all, "Down with men! The only thing I want is to not meet a man!" and then immediately, that's what happens. C'mon.

    Having said that, I did like Kate Winslet's story much better. But Jack Black as a romantic dude? Weird.

  • Ashley  
    May 4, 2009 at 10:21 AM

    This is one of my favorites. I agree that Kate Winslet is the movie's saving grace.

  • Kelly  
    May 4, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    This movie rocked for one reason and one reason only: Jude Law. If I ever run into that man anywhere, I will immediately force him into the bathroom and rip his clothes off. What if he doesn't want to? Don't care.

    I know if a guy said that about a woman it would be totally wrong. Don't care though...

  • Jesslyn  
    May 4, 2009 at 11:24 AM

    I just made my husband watch The Reader with Kate Winslet. Not only is she a good actress, but her sex scenes...Uh, let's just say there was no bra...

  • Becky  
    May 4, 2009 at 4:24 PM

    Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses and she could probably be entertaining as she just read the phone book. I'd agree with you that I liked her story over Diaz's, but I had a hard time with Jack Black in the role. I think I would've almost preferred if her "love" was just the platonic friendship of the older neighbor.

    And yeah, I can't stand it when they show women with bras on just after sex -- just pull the damn covers up over boobs.

  • Tall Brunette  
    May 4, 2009 at 4:52 PM

    I've liked this movie in secret for a while now- but yes- I DO fast forward through all Diaz/Law spots...makes for a quicker watch... more time for porn.

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