"How Can You Not Have Chemistry with Jude Law?"
"The Holiday" had a good cast, a decent premise, Hans Zimmer doing the score, and a script that could be called "fine". The problem is, a movie that started with mediocre ingredients took every wrong turn during production, and eventually became a hoary treatise on love with unlikeable characters and an emotionally manipulative storyline.
Luckily, all the elements that cause "The Holiday" to fail as a movie make it perfect fodder for a drinking game. We had the best time not enjoying this movie, and with our game's rules, so can you!
"The Drunk-All-Day": The Rules
1. Drink for Title Drops. That's every time someone says "Holiday".
2. Drink for Daddy Issues. Remember, the character has to specifically mention "Dad".
3. Drink when they drink.
4. Drink when someone gets hurt. That's physical and emotional pain.
5. Drink for when a cultural difference is pointed out. Time differences count.
All of the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink whenever the dick makes the decisions. It's not the smart thing to do, or the right thing to do. But it feels so goddamn good.
All of the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink whenever someone says something cliched. Drink twice if the cliche doesn't have to do with love.
Flux: She can't resist the "will-they-won't-they" tension (Easy)
Paul: He identifies with Cameron Diaz (Medium)
Levi: He's just here for Jude Law (Medium)
Pooh Daddy: He would have knocked out a better score than Hans Zimmer's (Hard)
Girly drinks in hand, we sighed and prepared ourselves for what was to come.
Silly Stuff First
Eli Wallach's character is pretty charming. We considered him Kate Winslet's "real" opposite in this movie, as he paves the way for her character's emotional healing. Jack Black's just the lucky guy Winslet's heart leaps to after the healing process is done. In return, Winslet helps Wallach heal physically and walk onstage to accept an award for his services in film. What a wonderful side-plot; it even comes complete with a "getting in shape" montage!
Is he cute enough to warrent a two minute scene between he and Diaz? An utterly pointless scene where they make funny faces at each other?
Let's get to the meat of this article, the reason it is a chore to watch. Here's a hint: it ain't Jude Law.
It's Called Joy
Diaz and Winslet are set up in the film to be two halves of a functioning person. One is unfeeling, unemotional, uptight and work focused. The other is over-emotional, sentimental, and at times a little pathetic. Through the course of the movie, Diaz must learn to let herself feel things, and Winslet must learn to stick up for herself and have self-respect. It's a concept that could have been pulled off better if the characters were given equal attention in the film.
Instead, Diaz's plot is brought into the forefront while Winslet's is shunted to the side. Winslet's romance doesn't even come to fruition until the last ten minutes of the movie. It's a shame, because Winslet is giving a passionate, committed performance, while Diaz looks like she'd rather be anywhere else.
When Winslet and Diaz trade houses, Winslet spends a good five minutes marveling at the size of her new vacation home, the pool in the backyard, the hundreds of movies she has access to along with a wide-screen television. She is wildly ecstatic, she can't wait to sink her teeth into everything Los Angeles has to offer. Her joy is only dampened when her slut of an ex calls her for a favor. Then she shrivels. But even her shriveling has action behind it, has momentum. We feel for her sadness because we've seen her joy.
You're a Bad Person
When the two lovers meet, Law is smashed after a night at his favorite pub. After he explains his presence at Winslet's cottage (he crashes there when he's had a bit too much), Diaz asks him if he would like a drink.
Excuse me? The man is already stumbling down drunk and you want to get him even MORE liquored up?
THIS is what I mean by letting the dick make the decisions. Diaz sees a hot man, so she puts his feelings and problems aside in order to have sex with him.
Then they had sex again. And she dumps him. Again.
...Why are we supposed to like her? Please, enlighten me.
But It's Not All Cameron's Fault
"You keep saying that," countered Levi. "Then we listen and they aren't doing anything!"
Even though Law, Black and Winslet are all trying their best, the script isn't giving them much. This movie is way too long. The exposition portion wasn't over until about forty minutes into the movie. The only movies I let get away with that have hobbits as the main characters.
We kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. This movie needed some surprises.
Oooh, Like Maybe...
He didn't. He accepted his award and then Black and Winslet kissed. It was magical.
Similarly, we found out twenty minutes earlier that Law is a widower and "both a father and mother" to his two little girls. Upon hearing this news, Levi leaned forward and whispered, "Did he kill her?"
No, of course not. Although, it's not specified how she died...maybe it was in a gruesome accident...maybe there was a lot of blood...
Wow. Sorry for taking such a dark turn. It's indicative of how much we needed something to throw us for a loop. Everything in this movie is laid out so prettily. That makes it a little less than honest. Good romantic comedies acknowledge the messiness of life. This movie shoves all that under the rug and tells us to listen to Christmas Carols. For two hours. Anyone would get tired of that.
Drink whenever Cameron Diaz tries to cry.
Drink whenever Kate Winslet cries.
Drinking for both of these rules would be suicide, so which would you rather keep track of: one woman's struggle to break down her walls, or the other's constant quest to keep it all together? Either way, you'll be crying with them in the end.
Drink whenever Cameron Diaz talks about things being complicated.
This is her main excuse for not committing entirely to Jude Law. Sex makes things "complicated". What this doesn't explain is why she, believing this, has sex with him anyway.
Drink whenever Jack Black appears in a scene.
Like a Chansey in the Safari Zone, Jack Black makes the whole world seem better whenever he shows up. You can count the number of scenes he's in on one hand, but he makes the most of his time. He handles relationships like an adult, an oddity in romantic comedies of any sort, and he does it with style and grace.
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). Video footage is taken by Pooh Daddy (Vincent Graham) and edited by Seb (Amy Yourd). All "The Holiday" images are owned by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures.