The movie “The Holiday” (2006): How to spoil the good plot by destructive markers

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Review of the film The Holiday (2006) of the project What is good.

The film “The Holiday” – an American romantic comedy with the starry cast of performers: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law. According to the plot Irish (Kate Winslet) – author of a popular wedding column in London’s “Daily Telegraph”, lives in an adorable cottage in English province. She is in love with a man, who loves the other, and uses her. Far away in South California lives Amanda (Cameron Diaz), the owner of prosperous advertising agency that makes promos for movies. She gets to know that her boyfriend is cheating on her. So, two strangers, living on a distance of 10 000 kilometers away from each other, appear in a similar situation and decide to change houses during Christmas holidays and relax from their problems. On the new place each of them according to the plot meets her real love.

The movie is really fully impregnated with romance, just the very movie, which can be watched by the whole family on a New Year and Christmas or just on a weekend. So which ideas promotes this film?

Attractive cover

Positive moments laying on the surface:

plus The movie “The Holiday” (2006): How to spoil the good plot by destructive markersThe film teaches to respect and value one’s personality:

In the end Irish realizes that she doesn’t want to be used by Jasper anymore and makes a willed decision to break up any relationships with him. Miles also resists manipulations of his unfaithful girlfriend and leaves her, breaking the vicious circle attention-treason-pain and getting away from friend zone. Amanda, getting to know about her bf affair, sets him out from her house, evading manipulations that this was all her fault.

plus The movie “The Holiday” (2006): How to spoil the good plot by destructive markersThe film teaches to succour those, who need help, to empathize:

Irish, who is a “rescuer”, motivates aged neighbor Adam, who appeared to be “the last from the age of great Hollywood scenarists”, to get rid of his fears and complexes and to go up in the world in order to receive deserved recognition. Adam in his turn listens to Iris’s story and gives a piece of advice, how to change. She also gives a psychological support to Miles, who learns about his gf’s affair, telling him her unrequited loves story.

In the whole the listed instructive moments are obvious to any viewer; therefore do not claim a thorough analysis. The main interest represent things that do not lay on the surface, but at that insistently are being promoted by movie authors’ along the development of the action.

Destructive markers in the film

Adverse film indicators:

minus The movie “The Holiday” (2006): How to spoil the good plot by destructive markersPropaganda of alcohol and cigarettes by giving these bad habits to positive characters of the film:

The movie is simply overloaded with the number of scenes of drinking alcohol, also there are scenes of smoking (Irish’s colleague on a company party: “…it just looks like it’s the smoke from my cigarette”; when playing with children, Gram smokes in jest). Drinking alcohol is presented by the film creators as something taken for granted in situations of:

  • break up (“Do you have anything a little bit stronger?” – asks Miles, when gets to know that his love is dating someone other),
  • sadness (Amanda starts drinking up a bottle straight at the store, which a shop assistant accepts understandingly),
  • experienced stress (Amanda: “I need a drink”),
  • lunch (does not go without a couple of shots (Irish) or dinner (over a beer (also Irish)),
  • celebration (champagne on a New Year and Chanukah),
  • acquaintanceship (the first meeting of Amanda and Graham: drink brandy together, both being already in a drunken state),
  • meeting with friends (ends up with a complete memory loss of Amanda about the past night),
  • date (Amanda comes to Graham’s place, taking a bottle of wine),
  • unexpected meeting (Irish opens wine and pours it in a glass after Jasper’s arrival).

kak isportit horoshiy syuzhet destruktivnyimi zakladkami 1 The movie “The Holiday” (2006): How to spoil the good plot by destructive markers

So according to this film one should drink alcohol by any chance, it is appropriate everywhere.

At that, taking into account that all main heroes are far more than 30, they are surprisingly easy bear the aftermath of constant alcohol drinking and get sober quickly. After finishing a bottle of wine Amanda doesn’t look very drunk, reads a book. Further fairly drunk Graham hits her house and he is never against drinking to welcome company. Amanda agrees, but none of them surprisingly gets drunker. The heroes lead a rather conscious dialogue.

The next morning after the second meeting of Amanda and Graham in a pub, during which she’s “never had that much to drink”, Amanda looks good and is ready to entertain herself further. No hangover, no bad mood. In reality this can’t be true, however, the movie creators deliberately avoid this moment.

Even though it is not shown in the film, it is being assumed that after drinking alcohol the heroes get behind a wheel, as, for example, Irish, who drove her neighbor Arthur for dinner at the restaurant.

All alcohol scenes are shown in an elegant light: beautiful, successful, intelligent people drink up wine, champagne or something stiff in intimate, neat, romantic atmosphere. When looking at them one wants to copy them, to be them.

minus The movie “The Holiday” (2006): How to spoil the good plot by destructive markersFilm storyline propagates non-committal and so-called free relations values, casual relationship, extramarital sexual relations are shown obligatory or at least approved. The viewer is imposed the excessive value of sexual life. This results in defamation of institution of marriage and family, as well as pudicity:

At the very beginning of the film, in Irish voice, as if bringing a viewer up to date, sound reasonings about modern love, which as against love stories of “people who fall in love with each other”, is unhappy (the death of aged Arthur’s wife), unrequited (“the cursed of the loved ones”; Shakespeare’s words provided: “Love is blind”), has ended (like between Amanda and her bf). At the close analysis of the phrase “love can also be found. Even if just for the night” one can see an attempt of substitution the concept of “love” to an accidental one-night stand.

kak isportit horoshiy syuzhet destruktivnyimi zakladkami 2 The movie “The Holiday” (2006): How to spoil the good plot by destructive markers

As mentioned above, all main heroes (except for Graham) – are childless, have never been in a state of a legal marriage, even though all of them are over 35 – the result of never found love and “the one”. At that this fact does not confuse them at all. For example, Amanda after the break up with her bf only thinks of how stress will affect her face.

In the movie as in keeping with the best Hollywood traditions there are many sex conversations; herewith the heroes talk about it as about some regular thing, the weather, for example. On the corporate party Irish’s colleague is gossiping about who slept with whom.

On the one hand the heroes have a clear firmness about importance of sex in relationships. Amanda is nervous about her not enough experience in this question. It is seen that she is bitter with her bf’s blames about its absence (“Come on, nobody has time for sex”). That’s why after meeting Graham, whom she obviously liked at the first sight, Amanda decides not to wait. Despite the drunken state of the last, smell of booze etc. They have the following conversation:

- Graham: “How do you feel about foreplay?”,

– Amanda: “l think it’s overrated. Significantly overrated”.

Graham: “You are quickly becoming one of the most interesting girls l’ve ever met”.

So, the conclusion that a young girl should make after seeing this picture: if you want to be interesting, to catch a guy, don’t wait for attention and waste time on such trifle as foreplay.  

Further talking about sex in the car, Amanda and Graham decide that it makes things more complicated, but its absence as well. Sure they have just “already had sex and slept together twice” for less than two weeks of acquaintance.

In the movie there is some attempt to justify such behavior of the heroes with alcohol, sound phrases, that in regular life they don’t typically do that. However, they don’t see anything reprehensible in it as well. They are grown-up and single.

Concerning moments:

Social roles on men and women distortion:

Here we have to say some words about main heroines – Amanda and Irish. Both of them work to the max (for example, Irish have not been on a vacation for 4 years), rest little. Amanda had to become strong after her parent’s divorce – can’t cry (prohibition on emotions), instead suffers from psychosomatics. Both women don’t have any material problems, no need in welfare assistance from men (Irish pays for the dinner with Miles; Amanda’s ex bf lives at her house, and in any case she is the owner of prosperous company and “that’s why they pay me the big bucks”).

kak isportit horoshiy syuzhet destruktivnyimi zakladkami 3 The movie “The Holiday” (2006): How to spoil the good plot by destructive markers

During the break up with her bf Amanda shows a rather men’s behavior, not shedding a tear, punches him in a face twice, so that he is send flying. After which comes back to work. Her ex blames Amanda that she can’t build relationships (“you screw up every relationship you’ve ever been in… You didn’t really wanna be a couple! You resist it in your own way!”), but she simply doesn’t have an example of happy relationships in her life experience (about which she tells Graham: “l’m not going to fall in love with you, l promise… No, it’s just that l know myself. l’m not sure l even fall in love”). An inability to build harmonious relationships – is a typical trait of Irish as well. She plays a rescuer’s role, is inclined to co-dependent relationships (“l mean……if you need me. Jasper: “…you are my little survival kit”). After arrival to L.A. quickly finds whom to save – the aged neighbor with starting dementia (Arthur: “Thank you for rescuing me”).

Men in the film are on the contrary allotted with some set of feminine qualities. It is tracked particularly on an example of a couple Graham-Amanda. Graham does not want to burden himself with responsibility to women: “l have the classic male problem of no follow-through. Absolutely never remember to call after a date. But since this wasn’t a date l guess l’m off the hook”. A disrespect to a woman now it is understood as a disease, it is fashionable to feign excuses «l find l tend to hurt women simply by being myself». Unduly picky, far more emotional, than Amanda, according to his words cries all the time: “More than any woman you’ve ever met… A good book, a great film, a birthday card, l weep”. This does not embarrass him at all; he rather shocks Amanda with it.

kak isportit horoshiy syuzhet destruktivnyimi zakladkami 4 The movie “The Holiday” (2006): How to spoil the good plot by destructive markers

In the final scene of meeting he is shown really crying. Besides, he sews and keeps cows, has two daughters, replacing a mother to them. Amanda does not have children, and it is not necessarily right that she will ever have them. Near the end talking about the future of their relationships Graham says: “l realize l come with a package deal: Three for the price of one” – as if Amanda is going to take him together with the children. In real life as a rule a man takes a woman with children. In the whole Graham more often reaches out to feelings (“l just know l love you”), while Amanda – to logic and reason, which is more common for men.

Children’s subject is not of considerable importance:

It is understandable that the movie is filmed about love twists and turns of grown up independent people, however, the viewer might be alerted by the fact that single people over 35 do not think of having children and plan something on this matter. There is no single conversation about children in the movie. The heroes are concerned with their personal life organization, afraid to burn fingers one more time.

Father Graham, instead of being proud of his status, hides his children, presents himself single, thinking that they can hinder him from arranging private life, push off a single woman. When Amanda by chance learns about Graham’s kids, she, in the first place, is a little bit shocked, but then her shock changes to a pity for the girls, who lost their mother. But even strong and independent Amanda can’t fully understand why he has hidden this important fact from her.

The final does not make the relationships of the heroes clear:

The story leaves implied how the relationships of the main heroes will develop. Amanda and Graham decide that there will be “no rules” between them, and even the fact that Amanda stays for New Year’s celebration doesn’t really change anything. In general, discussing some rules often appears in the conversations of this couple: “l think we just went way past complicated”, “since we’ve already had sex and slept together twice……maybe we can bend the first-date rules”. Same is true for the couple Irish-Miles. Yes, he comes over for holidays in England, but what next? The viewer can just hope for the happy end with continuation.


Many alcohol scenes, smoking scenes.


Accidental sex without obligations is appropriate in the film. A girl (Amanda) in the morning assures that everything is fine, let’s just forget it. Irish continues sleeping with Jasper, despite knowing about his intimate relationships with another woman, justifying herself with love, takes part in this lie, humiliating herself.


One episode of fight between Amanda and her ex.


In spite of some instructiveness of the plot and a positive final in general, the film’s authors lead an obvious propaganda of alcohol, free relationships, social roles of men and women’s distortion, and, as a result, postponing to have family and children. Is not recommended for watching.

Daria Egorova

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