The Holiday

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

It takes a special type of movie to make viewers simultaneously more smitten than they've ever been, and jealous enough to break the television in half.

Ladies and gentleman, meet The Holiday

Nancy Meyers, the creative genius behind this Christmas miracle, has long been Hollywood's arbiter of the good life, giving us screen envy in everything from The Parent Trap (can we have Elizabeth James' life, or at least her London row house?) to Something's Gotta Give (we'll take one of Diane Keaton's fictitious career, please) to It's Complicated (we don't have to tell you that we're lusting after that bakery in Santa Barbara). Her foray into holiday flicks was no different, and today we celebrate 10 years of jealousy. 

Yes, it was one full decade ago that the world was introduced to the concept behind Airbnb, or should we say "Home Exchange"—which, speaking of, can Nancy get a cut of the business? One full decade ago that we realized we wanted to create a life in which we somehow lived between a Los Angeles mansion and a tiny, idyllic English cottage. One full decade ago that we decided Jude Law was the cutest dad ever. 

We don't need to waste any more time waxing poetic over the virtues of this movie; if the mark of a good Christmas movie is that you can watch it anytime of the year, then The Holiday belongs right up there next to Love Actually. But we are going to wax poetic over something a little different: All the ways that we turn green with life envy when we watch this movie. It's all in good fun, of course: We turn to The Holiday to escape our own, non-Jude Law-filled lives, and also to maybe pretend that we're spending Christmas with the cutest retired screenwriter known to man. 

The House Porn. This is a Nancy Meyers specialty. We're convinced she spends even more time conceptualizing where her characters are going to live than she does coming up with them in the first place. She's not going to put her stars in some sad little ranch home in the valley! Every space is more fabulous than the last.

We start with Kate Winslet's adorable cottage, and we must say that there has never been a commute to the suburbs more worth it than this. It's something pulled straight of a storybook for wealthy Brits who own country homes: the stone exterior, the exposed wood beams, the cozy library, the not-quite-mismatched shabby chic furniture, the fireplaces in every room. It's the cottage that made a million girls Google "English countryside vacations." 

Next up is Cameron Diaz (a.k.a. Amanda) and her palatial LA estate. This house is peak Nancy; decked out to the nines in beach-y neutrals, with more rooms (and more fancy accent pieces) than most of us see in a lifetime. There have to be at least a dozen beige couches in that place, and everything from the movie screening room to the kitchen island bigger than our first New York apartment to the backyard pool that wouldn't be out of place at a five-star resort says "You'll never live like this." But we love it! After we're done crying about our own living spaces. 

The Holiday GIF

The Career Porn. Okay, we know how that phrase sounds, but we really just meant that the characters in this flick have awesome jobs. Another of Meyers' MO's in her questing for crafting the perfect onscreen life is to give her women a dream job. We're not sure if anybody did a study of the pastry chef industry after It's Complicated, but there had to have been a jump in inquiries.

While Amanda and Iris' love lives may have been, in their own unique ways, falling apart, at the start of The Holiday, their professional lives were completely enviable. We would all jump at the chance to produce movie trailers if it meant having a kick-ass home office, getting first access to every great movie under the sun (and a couple James Francoand Lindsay Lohan-fronted action duds), and counting Jack Blackand Kathryn Hahn as your employees. Amanda's boyfriend might have cited her dedication to her work as one of the reasons for their failed relationship, but we'd gladly cut 75 trailers before we got married to that twerp. 

And Iris! Iris with her British newspaper (The Telegraph, to be exact). And her adorable office covered in wood grain. And the stacks of newspapers all over the place. And her hilariously old-timey computer. It really makes you just want to step back in time into All The President's Men and peck away on a typewriter, smoking cigarettes all the while. 

And sure, Jude Law and Jack Black aren't doing too shabby themselves, too.

The Holiday GIF

The Hair Porn. Could you just die? Cameron Diaz and her God damn bob. It was the bob that launched a thousand bobs. No matter if she was just waking up from a fitful night's breakup sleep or deplaning a trans-Atlantic flight or shopping for cases of wine in an adorable village market, it looks freaking flawless. And of course Kate's hair is gorgeous and bouncy and shiny all the while. 

The Romances. Sorry guys, there was no way to use a cute "porn" title for this one. We know the point of this movie was to make us feel all warm and fuzzy and Christmas spirit-y on the inside as we watched our two fabulous heroines find the love of their lives, we couldn't help but feel a little white hot rage as they were dancing around during that stupid double date New Year's Eve party.

We're sorry, we didn't mean that—the party wasn't stupid. It was magical. But the fact that both lead characters went from broken down in love to meeting their soul mates so quickly was a source of both joy and envy for us. It made us think, hey, this is just how Christmas is supposed to be but also that will probably never happen for us. Happy holidays?

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