In Nancy Meyers' The Holiday
, a romantic comedy from the director of Something's Gotta Give
and What Women Want
, two women trade homes only to find that a change of address can change their lives. Iris (Winslet) is in love with a man who is about to marry another woman. Across the globe, Amanda (Diaz), realizes the man she lives with has been unfaithful. Two women who have never met and live 6000 miles apart, find themselves in the exact same place. They meet online at a home exchange website and impulsively switch homes for the holiday. Iris moves into Amanda's L.A. house in sunny California as Amanda arrives in the snow covered English countryside. Shortly after arriving at their destinations, both women find the last thing either wants or expects: a new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris' handsome brother Graham (Law) and Iris, with inspiration provided by legendary screenwriter Arthur (Wallach), mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Black).
As a pleasant dose of holiday cheer, The Holiday
is a lovable love story with all the Christmas trimmings. In the capable hands of writer-director Nancy Meyers (making her first romantic comedy since Something's Gotta Give
), it all begins when two successful yet unhappy women connect through a home-swapping website, and decide to trade houses for the Christmas holiday in a mutual effort to forget their man troubles. Iris (Kate Winslet) is a London-based journalist who lives in a picture-postcard cottage in Surrey, and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) owns a movie-trailer production company (leading her to cutely imagine most of her life as a "coming attraction") and lives in a posh mansion in Beverly Hills. Iris is heartbroken from unrequited love with a cad of a colleague (Rufus Sewell), and Amanda has just broken up with her cheating boyfriend (Edward Burns), so their home-swapping offers mutual downtime to reassess their love lives. This being a Nancy Meyers movie (where everything is fabulously decorated and romantic wish-fulfillment is virtually guaranteed), Amanda hooks up with Iris's charming brother Graham (Jude Law), and Iris is unexpectedly smitten with Miles (Jack Black), a super-nice film composer on the downside of a failing relationship. --Jeff Shannon