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The Holiday

Perfectly cast and loaded with Christmas heart and laughs, THE HOLIDAY is a perfect yuletide romantic comedy that defines "feel good" at the movies.

Kate Winslet (Titanic) is Iris, a London columnist in a one-way love affair with a heel names Jasper (Rufus Sewell) who's broken her heart a thousand times over.

After her latest public humiliation at a Christmas party becomes the breaking point, Iris decides to do something impulsive and escape to somewhere far away for Christmas.

Luckily for her, Hollywood movie trailer creator Amanda (Cameron Diaz in one of her best roles, stunning) is fed up with her cheating boyfriend Ethan (Edward Burns) and after kicking him out of her Beverly Hills mansion, decides to put her house up for swapping.

Iris and Amanda trade places, leading to plenty of laughs as Amanda settles into Iris' tiny English countryside cottage and Iris sprawls in the luxury of Amanda's huge home.

In LA, Iris meets Miles (Jack Black in his most likeable role) a film composer with relationship challenges of his own. In Surrey, Amanda meets Iris' brother Graham who shows up at the cottage drunk one night. A book editor by day and single Dad full time, there's more to Graham than meets Amanda's eye.

Watching each of these characters spar with each other, fall in love (come on, you knew they were going to from then poster!) and then deal with the entanglements with the fact half of them are far from home is hilarious and incredibly winning in these four actors hands.

Eli Wallach adds greatly to the tale as Amanda's next door neighbor, screenwriting legend Arthur. His advice on love and life is well earned and Wallach is a pro, creating an older character with a full life that's anything but stereotypical.

Writer/Director Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Something's Gotta Give) always gives her films an incredible look, with every home looking like something out of a luxury catalog. Her films are eye popping and this one's no exception, benefitting from the snowy English setting contrasted with sunny California.

Hans Zimmer's score is flawless and we were surprised to see Kathryn Hahn WandaVision) and John Krasinski (A Quiet Place, The Office) show up in small, early roles.

Meyers has said that she wrote the screenplay with these four actors in mind for their roles and that pays off. They're all terrific.

Black recently said he thinks this is his best screen performance and I'd agree.

The last 15 minutes is everything you want a Christmas movie to be.

The 2006 model for every Hallmark Christmas movie made since, THE HOLIDAY is an enjoyable choice for any December night and gets an A.

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