Reviewed by: Susan Quirk
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Many people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?
REVIEWS of other Christmas movies
|Featuring:||Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Rufus Sewell, Edward Burns|
|Director:||Nancy Meyers (“Something’s Gotta Give,” “The Parent Trap,” “Father of the Bride”)|
|Producer:||Suzanne Farwell, Nancy Meyers, Bruce Block|
Successful film trailer producer, Amanda (Cameron Diaz) gives her philandering man-friend the boot from her L.A. mansion; small time English reporter, Iris (Kate Winslet) is devastated to hear that her lover, Jasper (Rufus Sewell) has become engaged to another woman. These girls need a holiday far, far away. So they switch continents and homes for a two week respite to heal their broken hearts.
Amanda begins her stay at Iris’ English cottage by talking her way into a one-night stand with Iris’ drunken, widowed brother, Graham (Jude Law)who has stopped by to sleep off too many pints at the pub. Amanda awkwardly seduces him making it clear her vision for this coupling is one night of non-committal sex. Iris, jubilant in her LA paradise, but lonely for company, befriends octogenarian screenwriter Arthur (Eli Wallach) and catches the attention of soundtrack, composer Miles (Jack Black) who shares with Iris the problem of emotional bondage to an unworthy partner.
“The Holiday” is a light-weight, girly comedy that trivializes heavy issues. The night I saw this film, the theater was filled to the brim with single women and girls all geared up to laugh, cheer and mostly cry for the charming yet heartbroken heroines. We can only do this, though, if we have accepted a new set of sexual mores based on selfishness. Amanda has rescued herself from a promiscuous partner, but immediately becomes even more promiscuous herself. She has kicked out her old boyfriend for cheating, only to initiate sex with a stranger that may be a married man. So, is cheating bad or not? Only if you get caught? Or if someone finds out? Or is it fine if it all turns out in the end? Huh?
Iris, likewise, is the victim of cheating, and the audience empathizes with her pain and wants to offer her a shoulder to cry on. But, if we force ourselves to look under the covers, is she actually a victimizer herself? She has remained with her lover, even as he courted another woman. The character of Iris is portrayed as the sweetest of all women, who is even kind to old men. But, what if we saw her from Jasper’s fiancé’s perspective? She is a cheater, also, but we never, ever see her in this light. Apparently, cheating is bad if you are being cheated on, but not if you are the cheater. “The Holiday” encourages us to keep these things one dimensional please!
This film contains numerous scenes of passionate kissing, an unmarried couple waking up in bed, and several obscenities, including one exclamation of the “F” word.
“The Holiday” does throw us a few tidbits of truth. It is obvious from the beginning that both women seek real love in monogamous relationships. Upon learning that Graham has two little girls from his previous marriage, Amanda understands that commitment to Graham would entail loving these precious children also. The ego-centric base of Iris’ relationship with Jasper is aptly summed up by her line, “We both need to fall out of love with you.” Iris shares a tender moment with Miles as he removes a mote from her eye, symbolic of the necessity to examine their own lives more closely.
In the morning, following their sexual tryst, as Graham awkwardly prepares to leave, Amanda mentions with some humor, “We hardly ‘know’ each other.” Graham responds wryly with an answer that I interpreted with a Biblical truth, “I can’t agree with that.” C.S. Lewis wrote in the Screwtape Letters, “The truth is that wherever a man lies with a woman, there, whether they like it or not, a transcendental relation is setup between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured.” We cannot take a Holiday from this important truth.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy