Leah Rozen and Lesley Messer
December 18, 2006 12:00 PM

Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach



Midway through this delightful comedy, an old-time Hollywood screenwriter (Wallach) declares that he tried always to imbue his leading ladies with “gumption.” It’s a quality the two heroines of The Holiday start off needing more of. But by movie’s end, both happily display it in abundance.

Iris (Winslet) and Amanda (Diaz), each trying to get over a heartbreak, swap houses for Christmas. Iris, a journalist, heads to Amanda’s luxurious home in L.A., while Amanda, who runs a thriving business cutting movie trailers, settles into Iris’s cozy cottage in the English countryside. Cue the fake film trailer that Amanda imagines in her head: “Amanda wasn’t looking for love, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t find her.” Ditto for Iris.

Writer-director Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give and What Women Want) is a whiz at turning out fun, frothy commercial fare. She writes likable characters, hires adept actors (Winslet is the standout) and adds a subplot (current Hollywood fare versus that of a bygone era) that combine to make a welcome Holiday gift. (PG-13)

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