Tuesday, August 2, 2011

❦ The Holiday (2006)

I just love The Holiday! The score is one of my absolute favorites. It's beautiful, touching and pulls me right into the story.

Jack Black scores the opening. I must admit that he's my least favorite thing about this movie. I'm ambivalent about his casting.

While he's an unlikely choice, some may say it makes him a perfect one, but for me, it's more than the fact that he's not your typical leading man, or that he doesn't pair off very well with Kate Winslet...no, it's more than that. It's about the fact that he looks like he belongs in a horror flick instead of a sweet romantic comedy like this one! I mean, just look at this opening scene - he's supposed to be gazing lovingly at his girlfriend Maggie, right? So why is he looking like an evil, psychopathic, meat-cleaving madman??

Sorry. He's not conveying tender affection here. at. all. He was so miscast.

Having said that, he does have some pretty good moments in various bits of the film - when he's doing what he does best - comedy.

Nice introduction to Iris. Unrequited love. Poor Simpky.

I love the scoring as Iris and Jasper speak in her office; and as it carries Iris home with a broken heart. This score makes me feel I'm on the train beside her, walking shell-shocked to the sanctuary and privacy of home.

I do wish there had been a couple more seconds after Iris closed the door before we hear her begin to cry. It would've heightened the emotional effect.

Not crazy about this break up scene with Amanda and Ethan. It always feels over-rehearsed on Cameron Diaz's part; it doesn't feel organic.

I do love how the gardener warns Ethan not to cop to cheating...and shakes his head when Ethan confesses, lol.

I also like this trailer scene. Amanda talking about women looking haggard from stress; then Googling for a getaway; trying to cry for a little relief, but unable to. Love it. And it's all very nicely scored, of course.

Low point....low point! Poor Iris.

I so love Iris and Amanda's IM meeting, and how they were both actually lifesavers, saving each other.

Notice how Iris types "Dear" and then erases it? Very meaningful. She really sees that it's time to heal and move on - get over Jasper the schmuck, finally!

Love how she's soaking up the rays of the L.A. sunshine on the cab ride to Amanda's house. And contrasts abound, don't they? "Winter Wonderland" plays for Iris, LOL.

Then we have Amanda in the winter wonderland of Iris' lane in Surrey. Boo to that lousy taxi driver, making her walk all that way!

It's so funny seeing Iris' reaction to Amanda's house contrasted with Amanda eyeing the tub in Iris's. LOL.

And what's up with Amanda damn near totaling Iris' car, then saying she needs a drink for the drive back?? Seriously, Amanda? LOL

Now she's bored - plays with her hair at the kitchen table, rocks out to Mr. Brightside, makes weird faces with the doggy. Then she's like: OK. I'm outta here, LOL. Guess two weeks of that was out of the question!

Meanwhile, across the pond...Iris is having a blast!

Very nice "meet cute" with Miles. Although, the "something's in my eye" bit is très cliché. And this is another of my least favorite things about this movie. What a hugely missed opportunity for establishing a good foundation for their attraction to each other.

Lovely scoring as Iris notices Arthur walking with his caretaker, and takes in the Santa Ana breeze. "Anything can happen."


So I love Amanda's and Graham's first meeting. It's so cute! And I love how they cut to the chase, getting right down to business. Very well written and well-acted scene. Doesn't feel forced at all.

Then, the morning after. It's sufficiently awkward. "Ah...you're supposed to plug them in over here." Funny. Sweet. Original.

Go Iris! Rocking out in Amanda's bed after sleeping off that jet lag...And then Jasper calls. Uh. Go away!

Back across the pond...Amanda stayed! Well, of course, she did. I love it when Graham spots Amanda in the pub. The song creates a nice ambiance.

I love the relationship that develops between Iris and Arthur - it's so sweet. He's lonely, in the twilight of his life, and...here comes the sun. Sigh. We know this relationship will last a lifetime. It's heartwarming, and one of my favorite things about the film.

Amanda and Graham have a lovely day together. Jude Law and Cameron Diaz have excellent chemistry in this film.

Oh, my gosh - I love the Hanukah party! Funny, light...and one of Jack Black's best moments in the film. Matchmaker Arthur is cute.

"Here's looking at you...Ilsa." Too funny. And Miles nailed Bogart.

I LOVE Amanda's reaction when she realizes Graham isn't alone in the house. And how adorable are these two kids? These scenes are priceless. How unexpected to discover Graham is a widower and these poor little girls have lost their mum so young. My heart just aches for them.

Okay, Mr. Napkinhead is LOL hilarious! Love it!

"We never have grownups here that are girls." Graham doesn't bring women around his children. Sweet moment.

I sympathize with Graham's need to compartmentalize his life. Wonderful acting here by Jude Law.

I always get a kick out of Arthur saying "eleven schnooks" would show up to see him for the Writer's Guild ceremony - not five or six, but eleven, LOL.

The 3-way call cracks me up. It's so cute. But I always wonder...why wouldn't Iris get back in touch with Graham, before going off to Blockbuster?? Deleted scene perhaps? Hmm...

Miles: "It's not a library, I can go loud." LOL

Cool seeing Dustin Hoffman in Blockbuster as Miles talks about the score to The Graduate. "Can't go anywhere."

Miles: "Do you have anything a little bit stronger?" And, yep - she sure does! LOL

Miles: "Well, fuck. You need this more than I do." ROTFLOL!!

I still get more of a sibling vibe with Iris and Miles, there's zero romantic chemistry.

I really like Arthur's Theme. And I'm in LOVE with Iris' melody. Gets me every time.

"So you're totally great." Graham's pillow talk line is pretty lame, LOL. Surely he could've found something far less cliché to say to her in that particular moment!

Amanda: "After a long, tearful -at your end-" LOL!

Back in L.A. Surprise, surprise. Jasper's at the door! Good on Iris for eventually slamming the door in his jack-eyed face. Gumption!

Well, what do you know? Looks like more than eleven schnooks showed up for Arthur, LOL.

And back in England: "Welcome back, Amanda!" And now she makes that trek up the lane to Rosehill Cottage with glee. So nice!

A lovely closing scene. A little Aretha never hurts. I just wish Amanda had mouthed I love you to Graham. That would've made it pitch-perfect. It feels missing after the way she reacted when Graham professed it to her.

Overall, The Holiday is aces all around. It's an intelligent script (apart from the couple of trite clichés I mentioned), with nearly pitch-perfect casting.

But whatever its flaws, this is a time when a lovely score more than compensates for them. And so it's a film I can watch over and over again. And I will! ☺

"Anything can happen."