starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black
written and directed by Nancy Meyers
by Walter Chaw There are bad movies, and then there are Nancy Meyers movies (first What Women Want, followed by the similarly excrescent Something's Gotta Give): chick flicks in the most damning, insulting sense of the patronizing term and reason enough to question the wisdom of ever spending money to see a movie. If you go to Meyers's latest, not only are you about to watch what is easily the worst movie of the year--you're most likely going to do it in the company of people who'll actually like it. The Holiday is appallingly written and icky besides in that familiar way of this brand of Love Actually/The Family Stone yuletide romantic refuse, casting Cameron Diaz and Jude Law as lovers fucking away the hours inside a Thomas Kincaid painting while Diaz's frumpy house-swap buddy, played by Kate Winslet, finds meaning in Santa Monica by propping up a fossil (Eli Wallach) and falling for a James Horner-esque composer of horrible soundtracks (Jack Black). Parliament on the Thames is featured as prominently as the Pacific Coast Highway to underscore either how vacuous the filmmakers are or how stupid they think the audience is while Hans Zimmer's soul-sucking, teddy bears-humping score saps away the last hints of credibility anyone has after participating in this gingerbread death march. If the opening voiceover narration by Winslet's lovelorn Iris isn't warning enough, consider that the narrative crutch used by Diaz's emetic movie trailer-editor Amanda is a series of fake movie trailers about Amanda's romantic imbroglios.