I have a noted hesitancy towards “chick flicks” or “date movies”. I don’t know why. That’s a lie, I really do. In general, they are mind-numbingly formulaic and, as a result, spine-grindingly predictable. The humor usually attempts to be cute and clever, but comes across cheesy and decidedly un-clever. Additionally, there is all too often little depth to any of the characters. Also, there are rarely robots, space ships, or giant monsters.
Now, I completely understand that there are exceptions to my reservations, and I completely understand that even though some movies adhere to the above criticisms they can turn out to be entertaining. I get those things. Suffice it to say, I simply have a noted hesitancy towards films of this ilk.
In any case, with relatives from distant lands staying with my wife and family over the weekend, the opportunity arose to watch a film, and as I was the only adult male in the house, I had absolutely nothing to do with the choice. And that was fine, I truly didn’t mind. So it was that we embarked upon the journey which was The Holiday.
I won’t go into any kind of summary at this point; in fact, I have provided a handy link to IMDB for those of you with no clue what movie I’m talking about. The movie is, afterall, already more than 18 months old. Instead, I will merely detail my observations and thoughts of the film. There may be some spoiler action here, so be warned.
These items will be in order of things I think of first to things I think of afterwards. Absent from this list will be things I failed to think of or forgot to mention.
- I’m not a fan of Cameron Diaz. I haven’t seen her in a ton of films; however, the times I’ve seen her and thought, “Hrmm…,” greatly outnumber the times I’ve said, “she didn’t look malnourished in The Mask.” Having said that, I have not been wronged by Diaz, so this is nothing personal. I have simply yet to be impressed with her in a role that I’ve seen.
- Jack Black‘s character in this movie should have been split in half, and one half should have been thrown away. Simply put, Black should never be the love interest in a movie. It’s just not the correct decision. Remove that part and leave the rest of his character, and you have a well-played, funny strength to the film.
- Eli Wallach was the best thing about this movie.
- Kate Winslet is a fine actress, and when she was given material to truly act out in this film, she was quite good. However, the horrible comic relief she was forced to portray in the guise of a never-ending scene of surprise and joy made me want to inhabit a tauntaun.
- Winslet and Black demonstrated chemistry reminiscent of the chemistry between fire and hamsters. See point #2 for solution.
- Jude Law did a fine job of acting in this film, and there were things about his character that were genuinely unpredictable and refreshing.
- The tent scene was the best scene in this movie.
- The whole crying thing with the character of Amanda was painfully see-through. I found myself thinking, “Is there any possible way they can stop themselves from ending with that?”
- Rufus Sewell played the part of insanely-obvious, spontaneously-generating chick flick bad guy. Poorly.
- This is a bit of a side note, but I just read on IMDB trivia that “This film was written specifically with actors Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black in mind.” If this is true, then I am even more infuriated with some of the scenes written for these actors/actresses.
- The final dancing scene simply must be removed and injested by those responsible.
Having said all that, I was marginally entertained by parts of this film, particularly those that truly surprised me. Much, however, was as expected.
I remain hesitant towards “chick flicks” or “date movies”.