Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Bridget Jones on vacation

How could you go wrong with this top-drawer casting? By Noel McAdam

The Holiday



(12A, 138 mins) Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslett, Jack Black









The thing about The Holiday is it actually feels like a holiday. You know, the waiting about, the time hanging heavy and the nagging sense you should have gone to that other place instead.

I've had Twelfth fortnights which seemed shorter.

Which is actually to do this movie a disservice because, like almost all holidays, you will most probably have a good, fun and relaxing time.

How could you possibly go wrong with top-drawer casting including Diaz, increasingly confident with every performance, Jude Law, eager to get the taste of several disasters out of our mouths, ever-reliable Winslett and Jack Black in back-up?

In so many ways this is the ultimate Nancy Meyers project. Meyers has given us Something's Gotta Give, the great pairing of Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, and the remakes of The Parent Trap and Father of the Bride so you can gauge what to expect.

There are no really great lines, but there is a general, feel-good factor.

It's almost as if director and writer Meyers decided what could possibly be better than a Bridget Jones movie? Answer: Bridget Jones twice.

Even in its look, and it never looks less than pretty, The Holiday has so much of BJ written all over it that Helen Fielding should be asking for a cut.

If there is such a thing as chick lit, then this is chick flick. It is entirely designed to make women feel good about themselves and, as a general rule, when they feel good, normally the other half of us can take a bit of a breather.

Diaz and Winslett are fairly go-ahead young women living fairly idyllic lives in, respectively, a Los Angeles mansion and a cosy cottage called Rosehill just 40 minutes from London. They have bookshelves full of books by Tennessee Williams, John Irving, Jonathan Franzen and the like.

But Cameron and Kate are ladies unlucky in love, cruelly wronged by men unworthy of lacing even their drinks.

Simultaneously both of them decide the best thing for curing a broken heart is to be elsewhere. Thanks to a laptop they swap situations, and countries.

And then they respectively come across Law and Black, just waiting to sweep them off their feet.

But there are many misunderstandings and poignant secrets to be revealed in this picture-postcard picture.

Despite his two most recent outings Black is still on a career high after King Kong and gets the chance to do his school of rock thing, while Law is impossibly cute and fetching and has two gorgeous little girls.

Diaz builds on her success in last year's In Her Shoes, where she was outshone by Toni Collette while, for Winslett, it's the fourth movie in almost as many months, following Little Children, All the King's Men and last week's Flushed Away.









Now showing at cinemas across Northern Ireland

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