Old Lady Movie Night Old Lady Movie Night: "The Holiday" Anne T. Donahue

AND GOOD MORROW TO YOU, DEAR FRIENDS. I know it’s been a while. A long while. A really, really, two week long while but I promise you that’s only because I had the plague (a really bad cold), and then it was Thanksgiving, and I thought, “Okay, I might not be American or be celebrating Thanksgiving, BUT I am really sick, so I need to just lie in bed and watch the parade or die.”

So that’s what I did. (Watched the parade. I didn’t die.) (But imagine? “And now I’m a ghost. TWIST.”) But now I am back! Back to soak up the joy of CHRISTMAS (!!!), which basically means I’m watching Christmas movies like a fiend, and then writing about them here. I CAN’T HELP WHO I AM. I JUST REALLY LOVE HOLIDAYS AND CAPITAL LETTERS. I actually even made hot chocolate tonight and put a candy cane in it because I am just that CA-RAY-ZAY about Christmas and also in general, apparently.

But let’s get right to the point! We have a movie to watch. And this week, I’ve chosen The Holiday because that’s what’s written down in my planner, thanks to me and the wonderful Erin Long making sure none of our movies overlapped. So The Holiday it is! A movie about holidays, and also Cameron Diaz being unable to cry. Sure. More importantly, though, Mr. Napkin Head. But now I’m spoiling it for you. SO LET’S DO THIS.

1. Did you guys know this movie is over two hours long?

HOW? And WHY? The only movie that should ever be over two hours long is Titanic (duh) and The Sound Of Music (duh x 159155), and anything else . . . no. There’s no need. THERE IS JUST NO NEED. Make it a miniseries, then, and preferably, set it in Downton Abbey. Yes, even Batman. (ESPECIALLY Batman.) #WHERE #ARE #THEY

2. I will also tell you that the first time I saw this movie, my friends and I were convinced the old man was going to die

Just absolutely convinced. We actually started to cry about halfway through thinking he was going to die, convincing ourselves that it would be tragic and something our psyches would never recover from. In no way does the movie allude to this being a thing to be worried about. But seriously, if you put a kindly old person in the role of a life-changing protagonist, it’s almost a rule that in some way, they will break your heart. THANKFULLY, in no way did that happen here. But I would just like you to have the mental picture of four of us sitting in a movie theatre crying over something that not only didn’t happen, but didn’t even seem like it was going to. (In fact, one of my friends thought that — SPOILER ALERT — when he went up to receive his award, he was going to fall down the stairs and die tragically in front of everyone. While I thought Kate Winslet was going to go to the awards show and find out he never made it there, and oh my god . . . seriously I could cry now thinking about either. WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME.)

3. For the sake of my friend Kat, I have to comment on the Cameron Diaz storyline

She asked me to, and I must oblige. First, guys, the non-crying. Truthfully, has anyone here ever not cried ever? Even the people I know who are like, “I never cry,” have cried. Admittedly. I JUST DON’T BUY IT. Also, it takes a dude for her to finally come into her own?  You KNOW I don’t like that. SHE SHOULD JUST FEEL HAPPY BEING HERSELF. Anybody else is a bonus! But I’m not going to grandstand. Instead, I’m just going to ask you, is it just me, or when you first saw this, was the Cameron Diaz/Jude Law storyline the only one you cared about? I totally cared about Kate when she’s in England, but as soon as she was in LA, I was all, “Meh.” THAT, HOWEVER, HAS CHANGED. Because Albert is my actual spirit animal, and his storyline is literally everything.

4. Imagine a human being spurred Kate Winslet though?

YOU WOULD BE WRONG AND A MONSTER. And this guy. At work, who treats her terribly and doesn’t even buy her a Christmas gift? Noooope. JASPER, is it? Get out of here. NO GENTLEMAN SHOULD EVER SPUR KATE WINSLET’S ADVANCES, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT SHE’S IN CHARACTER OR IN A MOVIE.

However, despite being in Kate Winslet’s shoes to an extent, I will say, KATE. NO. Back AWAY from the dude named Jasper. But isn’t that always the way? When you KNOW you shouldn’t take to some guy, and then not only do you talk to him, you make it so obvious you’re excited to talk to him? Oh God, watching this scene now . . . Kate quoting him to him . . . No. NO. Ah. Too much. I have to go.

5. And the GIFT

Okay I’m back. Back just in time to watch Kate Winslet learn that Jasper lied about getting her a gift to begin with. Amazing. Do you guys want to know something horrible? When I was 18, I liked this awful dude, but I was desperato (like the film of the same title), and we worked together, so I was all “Let’s do Christmas gifts!” (???) And we did. And I got him something cool because I was SO EXCITED, and he got me . . . two VHS tapes OF HIS FAVOURITE MOVIES, and like… candy? In a Wal-Mart bag. Like, I wrapped mine. Put it under the tree. Brought it to work, and he walks me to his car, where we stand outside and he gives me . . . a Wal-Mart bag with VHS tapes in them. And it was 2003, you guys. Even then, VHS tapes didn’t really exist.

So yeah, Kate. I feel you, girl.

6. I HATE JASPER DOT COM

I know we’re supposed to, but I really want to drive this point home. Sources have confirmed that he is the anti-Christ, and/or also the devil. YOU DON’T GET TO MAKE KATE WINSLET CRY, DARK LORD. But UGH THAT FEELING, am I right, friends? NOW, I haven’t been in the “. . . and now he’s engaged!” situation, but I have been in ones of equal (kind of) lameness. So I will say that Kate REALLY emotionally shuts down, though, to the point of her probably exceeding “reasonably disappointed” levels and going into the danger zone, which I think signals an actual problem. Why doesn’t she call her friends or a friend? DOES she have friends? I feel like none of these people in this movie have friends, actually. Think about it: literally zero friends are seen (minus coworkers).

7. I’m sorry, but I hate the fight scene between Cameron Diaz and her boyfriend SO MUCH

Nobody communicates! And nobody seems to really care? No, I mean, like the characters care. (“Care.”) But the actors PLAYING the characters don’t seem to care. Cameron seems to care LATER, but no one is acting rationally! A) he cheated, so he’s the worst. and B) it’s her fault because she works a lot . . . ? I don’t get it. And now she’s stomping around the house . . . ? After she punched him in the face. OH LOOK IT’S JOHN KRASINSKI. Hey, pal. Watching a trailer of old school Lindsay Lohan and James Franco, I SEE. The 2000s, everybody! A TIME OF CAMEOS.

8. I would be terrified to swap homes with anybody

Listen. I get that this movie was made in 2006. But how do they just blindly go into this house swap? Cameron Diaz has only seen the outside! Digital cameras existed! Can you imagine? Just getting on a plane, going to a different country and staying at some random house alone that you’ve never seen? I’d assume I was being tricked, and then I would book a hotel just in case. #paranoia

And I would ALSO assume that they were going to destroy my house when I was gone.

9. AND NOW THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC IS PLAYING

And everyone’s joy in life is restored, and I’m immediately drawn to the English countryside despite having never gone. Is it beautiful? I BET IT’S BEAUTIFUL. Just like in the movies, even. (Or THIS movie, I should say.) But also, let’s talk about how the chauffer guy doesn’t drop Amanda/Cameron Diaz off at her destination? What’s up with that? How is he still employed? And even MORE importantly, why didn’t Kate Winslet tell Cameron Diaz she has a dog?

10. My LIFE is Cameron Diaz buying food at that corner store

That beautiful, BEAUTIFUL corner store. British people! Why is everything in your country lovely-looking? And why does all of your food come in terrific packages? Answer me this, and also please send me the contents of one English grocery store in its entire.  Also, Cameron Diaz shopping for food and drinking wine out of the bottle while doing so is basically my greatest dream, and I believe this scene, if shot today, would be titled “Treat Yo Self (the English edition).”

11. But then Cameron Diaz just plans to leave?

WHAT ABOUT THE DOG?! And is she just going to go home and re-nag on the deal? Why wouldn’t you just go into the city? Or drive somewhere else or something? These are all of the questions I have.

Kidding! My other question is why is Jack Black making his girlfriend listen to his own music in the car? They’re at the gate, and she’s on the phone, and he has his OWN MUSIC CRANKED, and when she tries to turn it down, he’s all, “Maggie. This is the best part.” Nooooope. That’s a dealbreaker! For several hundred reasons including making her listen to the music you made in the car, where she cannot escape. Let’s dial it down, Jack Black. Literally, as your girlfriend is trying to.

12. Well let’s just all talk about the handsome factor of Jude Law in this movie

He is just very handsome. And do you know what? His charms work on me in this movie. They work from the very first frame I paused on in that early paragraph and when he just looked at Cameron Diaz like he is DOWN. ALSO, thank you for putting together that outfit, sir. ALSO thank you again, for being incredibly endearing in your role as Iris’ brother. HOWEVER, wait . . . he’s shown up drunk at Iris’. Again. But he has two kids! Who’s looking after them? And this is becoming a more regular thing, what’s going on? Is this a red flag situation? Do they have a live-in nanny? Can we pretend that we do in order to keep Jude Law charming in this movie? But still — even if he does, you’ve got two small kids, guy! WHY THE LACK OF HANGING OUT WITH THEM.

Okay, but the sex talk between Cameron and Jude is just awkward for me. Not because watching anyone have a sex talk is weird, but because this sex talk is ESPECIALLY weird. CAMERON. GET EMPOWERED, FRIEND. For yourself! On your own! You don’t need some dude to empower you – boss up! More movies about people who are complete human beings on their own, and find someone that complements them, not completes them please, Hollywood.

13. And then Jem plays!

REMEMBER . . . Imogen Heap? OH MY GOD. The 2000s! And Jude Law walks into the most picturesque pub in the entire world, and he looks over and there’s Cameron Diaz, and it all looks so warm and cozy and LIKE CHRISTMAS!  LIKE. CHRISTMAS. THE TIME THAT IS UPON US. *melts down 25259258 candy canes and drinks them*

14. DID I MENTION THAT I LOVE Arthur

I love him. Seriously, he is my favourite person in this movie, followed by Kate Winslet, followed by the dog, and then followed by Mr. Napkinhead, because you can’t compete with him (not now, not ever). But Arthur and the golden age of Hollywood! See, now this is even more perfect because lately all I want to do is watch old movies, and if I were in LA on a Saturday night, I would absolutely go on a dinner date with Arthur because it would be the best choice any human being on earth could make. 

AND NOW IT’S A HANUKKAH PARTY WITH ALL OF ARTHUR’S FRIENDS. And now I would like to hug Jack Black, and invite him to any number of parties I have over the holidays. (Well I don’t actually have any, but he can come with me to a friend’s?)

15. MR. NAPKINHEAD!

I think we need to bring it back. Also, how does everyone in movies get latte and hot chocolate and foamy beverages on their upper lips? Whatever! We have Mr. Napkinhead UP IN HERE. Oh my god, if I were Olivia and Sophie, I would make Jude Law do Mr. Napkinhead all the time. And to be honest, I really do see me making my friends do it for me for the next couple of weeks. WHY AM I LAUGHING SO HARD AT THIS. And why am I obsessed with these little girls’ accents? ENGLISH PEOPLE. Again, I ask: on top of the contents of an entire grocery store, is it adorable to hear children talking all day? Or do you even notice? DO YOU EVEN NOTICE. *covers herself in napkins and tries to impersonate Mr. Napkinhead while weeping*

16. “Gumption”

Now, I’m not going to lie to you. I’m probably going to bypass SOME of the Jude/Cameron stuff because I’m in love with Arthur so much. Why? BECAUSE HE DISCUSSES “GUMPTION.” Gumption is crucial. We all need it. We all HAVE it! We just need to realize said gumption and BE THE LEADING LADIES OF OUR OWN LIVES. You know who should also take a page from the book of Arthur? Cameron Diaz. BE YOUR OWN LEADING LADY, GIRL. YOU DO YOU. (And stop saying how messed up you are! You’re you! Just be/do you!)

17. Three way calls!

OH MAN. Remember call waiting mess-ups? Is that still a thing? Do people still talk on the phone? If they do, do they still answer the call on the other line? ANYWAY. Okay, so there was just a three-way call mix-up with Kate thinks she’s talking to Jude Law when she’s actually talking to Cameron Diaz, but what we ACTUALLY need to discuss is a little thing I like to call . . .

18. BLOCKBUSTER

OH MY GOODNESS #RIP This entire scene could not take place now. Think about THAT. Seriously, right?! Honestly, Jack Black and Kate Winslet could not play the movie theme song game in 2012, or at least not in public, because movie rental stores aren’t actually a thing. Now, let’s look past the fact that I would have to say, “Please stop singing about movie theme songs for a second” if he was belting out the Gone With The Wind anthem in the middle of a crowded place, and look into the fact that I MISS MOVIE STORES. Okay, everyone? It was kind of fun to score the “hot new release” when it’d be sold out, and YES, I absolutely made it a personal victory for myself and whoever I was at Blockbuster with. Life, everyone. HOW FICKLE.

19. Meanwhile, we have Cameron Diaz forcing herself to try and cry on a cliff

“LIKE WUTHERING HEIGHTS” thought the director, probably! (You know I love this movie. YOU KNOW I DO.) Also, this preceded a montage, that ended with Jude Law and Cameron Diaz making me wish it was winter in Surrey, and Jack Black writing a song for Kate Winslet because WELL DUH. Why wouldn’t you? IT’S KATE-FREAKING-WINSLET, a.k.a. Rose Dewitt-Bukater.

20. Ugh, Cameron, no! Predicting the future is the worst

RIGHT? When has THAT ever worked out? When has assuming the worst EVER worked? It hasn’t! That’s why this scene is so upsetting. Jude Law is obviously a dude who’s like, “Let’s just see how it goes, and assume it will be fine.” And Cameron Diaz is being all, “But what do we do in six months when we hit a wall and you get mad at me about working so much?” WHAT? When has he ever indicated that that happens? WHERE IS THE PROOF. That’s a life lesson I’ve learned recently. When you spiral and start to get overly emotional about something and assume the worst, just ask where the proof is as to your worst case scenario. Usually, there is none, and you can take a minute and re-group. Cameron Diaz’s character, you need to do this. WHERE IS THE PROOF, CAMERON DIAZ’S CHARACTER.

Also, another song by Imogen Heap! DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE O.C. SOUNDTRACKS?

21. Then remember the time Jack Black ditches Iris for his horrible ex?

AHHHHHHHH!!!! No. This would actually make me livid. Like, when he’s on the phone, and is trying to be subtle, and is all, “Oh no . . . like, half an hour I’ll be there . . .” NO. Oh, that is SO RUDE. And then he LEAVES! And then he almost doesn’t go to Arthur’s thing?! I literally don’t understand his thought process. You guys, he just told Iris, “I really want to be there, but I don’t know how long this is going to take.” Oh, well how about you DON’T GO. Maybe we try that on for size. Maybe we give that one a whirl. How about you go to the thing for the 90-year-old man.

22. And THEN Jasper shows up . . . ?

Which is just unexpected and surprising. First, because how much money do these people have lying around just to board planes whenever they feel the need to? And second, that’s pretty risky, just showing up to somebody’s house. I don’t even like to do that to someone I know. I didn’t even like to do that when I lived two doors down from one of my best friends. They’re busy! They might be out! ALWAYS CALL FIRST. (“And that’s why you should always leave a note.”)

Also, shout-out to Rupert (is that his name?) (no, it’s Jasper — whatever! I’m leaving it in), for trying to make Kate Winslet his mistress. NOT. You do not get shout-outs here for that. You get kicked out of your home in L.A. (Also was Kate Winslet ALSO just not going to go to Arthur’s thing?)

23. I will say I wish this movie had more Christmas, though

Just a little bit more. Just a few more lights. Or trees. Or gifts. Instead, we’ve got love. AND FINE. Okay, cool. But WHAT ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS FACTOR. I would have at least appreciated one stressful shopping moment, or a scene where Jude Law is trying to wrap a gift for someone and he doesn’t line the paper up right so there’s this weird crease and the wrapping paper is all loose and you can feel the gift and you know it’s a book. What about THAT.

24. Why does no one in movies understand instructions?

Amanda a.k.a. Cameron Diaz has just realized that she loves Jude Law, and so she tells the driver to turn around, please. And his response? “Did you forget something?” Um, how about just turn around, Mr. “leave you on the lane away from the house when I dropped you off in the first place”? Why does everyone always ask that? Or, “I can’t turn around here!” they say. I drive, and do you know what I can usually do? Turn around. 99.9% of the time, I can usually make my car do that. THANKFULLY this guy eventually does, but simmer down, Sherlock! (Get that? Because Jude Law plays Watson? Anyone? Bueller?)

25. OKAY AND NEW YEAR’S HORRAH!

See, now this is a New Year’s I can get behind, mostly because I hate New Year’s parties, and this is a “shin-dig” not a “party.” What I DO love is going to Red Lobster and to the movies every year with my best friend, so Jude Law + Cameron Diaz + Jack Black + Iris + those kids = EQUALLY GOOD. I bet there was a lot of hot chocolate, and I am also willing to assume that Mr. Napkinhead made an appearance at least once. Also, how weird is it that Cameron Diaz and Jack Black are friends through Cameron Diaz’s ex, and Kate and Jude Law are brother and sister, and they’re basically England’s version of Friends.

And so that is how we will wrap this scene! No, there was not a lot of Christmas, BUT there was a lot of us watching The Holiday and me talking through it! I MISSED YOU GUYS. GLAD TO BE BACK. #CAPS #NAPKINHEAD #ARTHUR

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  1. Why is it considered adorable that Jude Law says “I love you” after a week?? THIS IS TOO SOON/FAST. YOU DON’T REALLY KNOW HER ALL THAT WELL, But you know, I guess I’d let Jude Law tell me he loved me after around an hour- so it’s believable.

  2. I accutually have that movie on DVD..

  3. Just watched this movie the other night to get in the holiday spirit. Kate Winslet is an absolute goddess. I really wouldn’t have minded if the entire movie was about her and Jack Black and the cute old man and those cute little British girls.

  4. I’m a guy and I absolutely LOVE this movie! If someone wants to watch it with me, let me know. And don’t forget the pop-corn :-)

  5. I love this movie…well half of it. They spent WAY too much time on the Cameron Diaz storyline, which I didn’t like at all. I want a whole movie of Arthur/Iris/Jack Black. I really think more time was spent on Cameron/Jude and they bored me. I’d remake this movie with just Arthur/Kate/Jack Black and it’d be perfection.

  6. Anne, you’re a genius! I looove this movie! I feel exactly the same way about Amanda-Cameron Diaz, her storyline is the typical Hollywood chick flick, the girl doesn’t feel complete until she finds a guy, that’s why the Kate Winslet-Jack Black storyline has always been my favorite, Iris finds her gumption on her own terms, her friendships with Arthur and Jack Black help her a great deal, of course, but ultimately she decides to start a new life for herself! Let’s all be Iris this Christmas, girls!

  7. Jude Law’s character says that the girls go to their grandparents house on the weekends if I remember correctly. Love Arthur too.

  8. Hans Zimmer’s score is lovely, too. It reminds me of unseasonably warm holidays.

  9. I loved this movie! And by the way, that is not jack black’s character’s music he plays her in his car, that is Ennio Marricone’s film score…just FYI in terms of the obnoxiousness level of JB’s character in that scene…

  10. That scene with Cameron singing Mr Brightside is awesome!!! I am also in love with Arthur. He’s just so huggable and cute and cute again (my favorite person in this movie as well)!!! God, this movie is just perfect.

  11. I wish there was more yuletide-ness in this movie as well! I mean, I know they’re on a holiday, but you know what I do on my holiday? I wrap presents and sing/play carols and eat as many pieces of peppermint bark as I can before starting to feel sick.

  12. I love this! Everything you said was pretty much exactly how I was thinking while watching this movie. Except one part where you say Jack Black is making his girlfriend jam his own music. I think he credits the composer to Kate Winslet when she hears it and they’re standing by the door. But anyway, Mr Napkinhead need his own movie!

  13. i love that you hate jasper. i mean we all do. also if you have sources that confirm/deny that kate winslet is a real life angel, please consult them and get back to us.

  14. I agree with all of this, especially the part about being convinced the old man was going to die. I too was tearing up for all the wrong reasons during his speech. Although one thing — Spurned not spurred. Kate isn’t a horse.

  15. I really like this movie and I am not a old lady at all. Its a charming movie with a different take on the holidays. This is one movie that Jack Black seems to be real and relatable. I like Cameron Diaz in this film too.