Nancy Meyers makes fairly standard Hollywood romantic comedies with high end stars and good dialogue. Sheís churned out another one with The Holiday, a movie about two women whose love lives are in a tailspin who trade houses for a vacation and end up with the men of their dreams.
Like her previous films, What Women Want and Somethingís Gotta Give, a predictable plot based on an unoriginal premise is balanced with a charming cast and fairly well written dialogue. Her writing is the kind that sticks in your head and doesnít ring too brassy. Too bad she canít translate her ability to write good banter into writing good stories at the same time. Instead, her literate characters inhabit these lame little worlds that we have all seen before and donít really wish to revisit.
And her characters are charming. Jude Law and Kate Winslet are both super cute and adorably broken. They are the kind of personas that we expect and love in these kinds of films. Each has a little flaw that is completely overcomable by their beautiful smiles and their charming wit.
Unfortunately, their love interests are not as well cast. I love Jack Black but he just doesnít have the chops to play the lovable but goofy romantic lead. His line readings are so wooden they could catch fire. Itís too bad they donít because itís only when he burns up with his craziness that we get the Black that we love. It doesnít happen very much because he has to remain a bit pathetic and tame for this role.
Cameron Diaz is even more unfortunate as she has to carry more of the film. She just doesnít have the comedic timing to pull off the jokes or the dramatic intensity to make us feel the pathos. Instead, she just looks cute with her big smile and tits and ass-less body but never really makes us understand why anyone would fall in love with her.
This is a romantic comedy. People see these films because they want to believe in love. Unfortunately, due to a lack of originality and some poor casting, love isnít that believable. There are a few good laughs and the British half of the cast are certainly cute enough to sell the thing but overall, this Holiday should be brief.