Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March 13th Log

2006, Nancy Meyers, United States

1st Viewing, DVD

The Holiday is the fourth feature written and directed by Nancy Meyers and it suffers what her previous two suffered from. Forced writing that seem to paint everything including the characters and comedy as black or white. Her obvious love for old-fashioned Studio days Hollywood is evident in her work, and she makes many references and homages here, but her writing lacks either the wit or the charm of her influences. What can often save a film of this mold is the star power and chemistry of the cast (as it does so very often with the great stars of the studio era). Here the cast is for the most part a very likable one (while Cameron Diaz is a bit boring, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black present solid star-power). However with the exception of Black, who gives the film its only burst of real energy and humor, most of the performances are not very memorable (and in the case of Diaz occasionally annoying). Besides Black, most of the fun in the film is seeing and hearing all the many film references and homges (including seeing a dvd of Punch-Drunk Love pulled out from a shelf of DVDs!!). Of course this also backfires on the film as all it had me wanting was to watch those great films again. So Meyers is making parallels with her character and Barbara Stanwyck from The Lady Eve, but that Preston Sturges is hilarious from beginning to end, while The Holiday had me wondering when it’s overlong 2+ hour running time was going to end. It finally did at a point that may be the most forced of the entire film. This film is not as bad as I may have made it seem, but I expected it to be a little more enjoyable. There is a point in the film when Winslet asks an old screenwriter if Hollywood as glorious as they say back in day and he replies by telling her it was better. While there are some films suggesting otherwise, I do think films like The Holiday are not bad but just further proof that the romantic comedy genre or true star-power are indeed faded from Hollywood years past.


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