The Holiday

Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

"I'm a book editor from London - you're a trailer-maker from LA. We're worlds apart!" In this new romantic comedy about Americans and Brits falling in love, Jude Law actually has to say that line. He has to open his mouth and say it. To Cameron Diaz - whose character makes film trailers, by the way, not caravans. Poor Jude Law has to say this line, without wincing or crying or being turned into a column of soot by an angry Old Testament God.

The line is very important, you understand, in showing how adorably different the characters are, and yet how deeply and felicitously they understand each other. In fact, their utter mutual incomprehension is far more serious than the movie ever concedes. Jude Law's character might as well say: "I'm a geologist from one of the moons circling Pluto; you're a chub fuddler from the Forest of Dean. We're worlds apart!" What Jude Law the actor might say is: "You're an attractive Hollywood star whose career could go either way, and so am I! We're from the same world! If we had sex, it wouldn't be legal, because we're already practically conjoined twins!"
Cameron Diaz - her beaming, hyperactive face almost entirely devoid of ordinary human emotion - plays Amanda, a movie executive who has come to England on a cute "house swap" holiday with a stressed English journalist called Iris (Kate Winslet). Iris has had her heart broken and strikes various Bridget Jonesy poses of snuffly, tissuey, jumper-wearing despair around the house, before snapping up the house-swap offer and zipping over to live in Amanda's spiffy Los Angeles home for the Christmas holidays, leaving behind her roguish brother, Graham. This is the pulchritudinous Jude Law, the "book editor" with whom Amanda has raunchy sex with her bra on. Out in the US, Kate Winslet finds herself drawn to quirky, vulnerable musician Miles (Jack Black) - chubby, yet hubby material.
This glutinous film is coated in a kind of buttery stuff, a soft golden glow of ersatz romance. It's as if they have taken the brown gooey contents of a million Mars bars and used it to develop the film - with the leftovers being poured down our throats. Everything is bizarrely unreal. Iris is allegedly employed as court and social correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, whose premises writer-director Nancy Meyers imagines as having an indoor cladding of Tudorbethan panelling, like the ground floor of Liberty department store. Amanda comes to live in Iris's chintzy cottage in "Surrey": a part of Surrey usually accessible only from the back of a wardrobe. Unforgivably, Meyers's script has someone saying that Cary Grant was from Surrey. My suspicion is that Meyers knows perfectly well Grant was from unpicturesque Bristol.
Meanwhile, out in LA, Kate Winslet has befriended an ageing scriptwriter from Hollywood's golden age, played by Eli Wallach, whose elderly, twinkly-eyed, life-affirming wisdom heals poor Winslet's emotional wounds, and prepares her for the big new romance with Jack Black. If you get a chance, take a look at the poster for this film, on which the paired photos of Winslet and Black are smiling blandly, blankly in each other's general direction. It's entirely representative of what's not happening on the screen. They could be two waxworks together. Forget chemistry - were they even on set the same day when their scenes were filmed? It's a kind of bluescreen acting. Black had more of a relationship with King Kong. And Black just does not work as a romantic lead: his face is hardwired for wacky comedy. When he smiles in what is clearly supposed to be a winning way, it just looks creepy, or as if he is having some sort of intestinal spasm.
But for real creepiness, for real oh-my-God-I-think-he-might-be-a-serial-killer creepiness, Jude Law's character wins hands down. When he shows up at Cameron's house-swap cottage, tipsy and needing somewhere to go to the loo and stay the night, my blood ran cold. Something about his cuddly overcoat, lovable scarf and Brit specs, made me think I was watching a remake of 10 Rillington Place. It seemed like Graham was going to wind up keeping Amanda in various sections of the freezer. Nothing quite so deplorable occurs, yet this is how he playfully rebukes Amanda, after some fairly sober talk about relationships and such: "You're seriously the most depressing girl I've ever met!" Diaz, who is 34 years old, plays a high-status professional who is surely entitled to consider herself exempt from the indignities of being addressed as a "girl". But she never betrays, with word or deed, any emotion other than awestruck gratitude for all this.
Cameron and Jude are supposed to be the beautiful ones; Kate and Jack clearly less so. And yet it is Winslet, by persistently looking like a real human being, and maintaining an air of cheerful good humour, who weirdly emerges from this train-wreck of a film with her class intact. Like everyone else, she never gets any decent lines or convincing characterisation, and yet she somehow always looks at ease, unlike the unrelaxed other three. In this Christmas season, it would be lovely to have a romantic comedy that soothed away our workaday cares. But this doesn't feel like a holiday. It feels like two hours and 10 minutes of very hard graft.

chintzy- nadmiernie przytulny, tandetny
chub- kleń (ryba); pyza (o osobie)
chubby- pulchny, pucułowaty
cladding- okładzina
concede- przyznawać
devoid of- pozbawiony
felicitously- trafnie
fuddler- pijak, pijaczyna
glutinous- lepki, kleisty
gooey- lepki
hubby- mężulek
intestinal- jelitowy, kiszkowy
pulchritudinous- piękny
raunchy- lubieżny
rebuke- ganić, karcić
roguish- łotrowski; łajdacki
snap up- chwytać, zgarniać, rzucać się na
snuffly- pociągający nosem, pochlipujący
soot- sadza
spiffy- fajny, elegancki
tissuey- chlipiący w chusteczkę do nosa
utter- zupełny, całkowity
wince- krzywić się z bólu
zip (over)- pędzić, gnać


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