Holiday, The
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -2

Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns, Rufus Sewell. Romantic comedy. Written & directed by Nancy Meyers.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Two women on opposite sides of the globe find themselves with the same troubles hearts broken by men. Desperate for a change of scenery, the two women meet on the Internet and swap houses for the Christmas holiday. The change does them good. Not only do they love the new locations, but even though they are trying to escape romantic involvements, they manage to find the perfect men the first day of their arrivals.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The Holiday consists of an interesting concept, witty dialogue, romantic situations and the best use of movie star cameos I can remember in a film. Two small problems, however. First, the script overstays its welcome and gives a fanciful ending that offers no satisfactory solution to the problem of a couple with ties to other parts of the world. Admittedly, this observation is that of a writer and may be considered picayune by those caught up in the pretty locations and the adventures of the lovely female leads.

The second observation may be more of a problem for those who follow the Bibles instruction concerning sexual abstinence before marriage. I think even those who see that teaching as more of a custom from biblical times than a direct command from God will still be uncomfortable with seeing the Cameron Diaz character bed a man in the first hour she meets him. Of course, in the movie they later fall in love. But in real life, such behavior generally leads to problems. Its a fantasy, I know, but there is an air of sexual permissiveness throughout the film.

That said, there are no graphic sexual situations and the film itself is a romantic fantasy. Its not suggesting that we follow their example. Indeed, there are some nice statements made about relationships and putting others first. And though there are two or three off-color words, including one use of the f-word (which always tarnishes the mood of a romantic comedy), there are no misuses of Gods name -- well, except for the colloquialism oh my god, which is uttered occasionally. Sadly, though this film takes place at Christmastime, there isnt any mention of spiritual matters whatsoever.

In other words, this is secular fluff about finding the perfect mate in the perfect setting (the final shot looking like a Hallmark card). Its escapist fare, but dont expect to find much spiritual enlightenment.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Columbia/Universal

Summary
Crude Language: British colloquialism concerning the sex act and a few other crude expressions.
Obscene Language: Two or three objectionables, from the female stars, including one use of the f-word.
Profanity: The expression oh my god is uttered several times, but I caught no disrespectful uses of Gods name.
Violence: A woman punches her cheating boyfriend.
Sexual Intercourse: There is a great deal of discussion about sex and there are several sexual situations, none of which are graphic. There is no nudity.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: There is a great deal of drinking in the film. It goes past social drinking, as we see both the leads drink whenever problems occur.
Other: None
Running Time: 130 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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