Even by stupid romantic comedy standards, The Holiday is unfathomably bad. There are two parallel stories, which is two stories too many. The first, and marginally better, involves Jude Law and Cameron Diaz. Jude Law is ok - Diaz is awful. She is a charmless, superficial woman and why Jude Law could fall for her is unimaginable. With that story the film attempts to inject some overblown emotion at the last minute and tries to pretend like the audience cared about these characters. We didn't. The second one has Kate Winslet, a very boring subplot with an aging screenwriter, and one of the worst performances of all time by a horrifically miscast Jack Black. The Holiday is boring, it's annoying, it's interminable, and from beginning to end it's absolutely insufferable. Avoid like the plague at all costs.
Nice Premise, But Typical Hollywood
Reviewed by KHL for The Skeleton Key at 2008-04-15 15:31:33
There is some nice atmosphere here and an intriguing plotline involving hoodoo and a house with an old and not so nice history, but where it could have resembled something like Angel Heart (a similar type of movie), it just didn't really pull off the 'scary' vibe. Worth one watch, the acting is decent, but the 'scares' are too typically Hollywood and therefore aren't really that spooky.
Requires more than one viewing
Reviewed by KHL for Vanilla Sky at 2008-03-24 17:36:48
I know that I was a bit perplexed on the first viewing, but after the second or third time I began to really appreciate the complexity that director Crowe uses to build the story and give small and subtle cues about the plot early on. Like or hate Tom Cruise, he is excellent as David, a petulant and shallow person whose life is changed by a sudden event. David must face the person he is and the things he's done, but what else is really going on and why does reality seem to be competing with fantasy in David's mind?
Some may find this long, drawn out and boring (see the completely mixed reviews of critics and filmgoers), but if you're willing to be patient, I think it's a highly rewarding and thought provoking film. Diaz as the psycho ex from hell, Cruz as the bubbly new love and Lee as the wisecracking friend all give great performances as well and the soundtrack fits amazingly with the themes and moods of the film.