DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Film Review: The Holiday

The Holiday (12a)
Dir. Nancy Meyers

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Where do you want to go by yourself, depressed, at Christmas? How about impulsively swapping your house with a complete stranger on the other side of the planet for a couple of weeks, jetting to get away from it all, meeting some new people and even perhaps falling in love while you’re at it? Or if that all sounds like too much effort you could go and see a bunch of hot Hollywood stars smugly doing exactly that on screen in The Holiday…
Ah yes, that’s the option I chose this weekend and I even took my wife Gail along to sample the delights of the new Nancy ‘What Women Want’ Meyers romantic comedy. Oh dear, when will I learn… There’s so much wrong with The Holiday that I barely know where to begin. Firstly it’s a romantic comedy which has had pretty much all the ‘comedy’ surgically removed (and that’s no mean feat in a film featuring naturally funny Jack Black). Secondly the characters in The Holiday are either unforgivably wet (Kate ‘what the hell was I thinking’ Winslet is the prime example) or so shallow that they’d drown in a Petri dish of emotion (Cameron Diaz – I’m looking at you here). Also it’s hard to take Jude Law seriously as a family man when pretty much every other role he’s ever played had been as a Casanova playboy.
But on the back of a genuinely amusing trailer I was so sure that The Holiday would be a hit with my other half that I thought perhaps it was just me failing to enjoy this lifeless turgid Christmas turkey. But no, she didn’t like it either.
Nothing can quite explain just how painful watching this is, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed so much nauseating self loving syrupy froth. Even worse is that the plot limps along like a wounded animal and ends in an unsatisfying blur of sickly sweet sentiment that makes Richard Curtis’s Love Actually look gritty.
The A list talent on offer are completely wasted, Diaz especially manages to not even be cute which is quite an accomplishment for her. The one highlight for me by far was seeing her wildly dancing and trying to sing along to The Killers’ Mr Brightside behind closed doors… But unless you’ve been round to my house and seen my wife doing exactly that too – it’s unlikely to make you smile in the same way…

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ö - plodding, weak and predictable
Laughs ö – one or two, no way near enough!!
Horror ö ö ö – horrific over / under acting!?
Babes öö – Diaz looks plastic

Overall ö1/2 (There’s simply nothing here to recommend, save your money)

"if you want to see Diaz looking cute... see Charlie's Angels!"

Darkmatters: H O M E

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