Lessons Learned from The Holiday movie

In a list that spans the length of my arm, one of the staple “must see” Christmas flicks I pull out every year is The Holiday movie. For those of you who have been living on the Island of Misfit Toys and have no idea which movie I’m talking about, I am delighted that you chose to visit my website today because what I’m about to disclose may change your life forever.

I admit that I have issues when it comes to this movie. I embrace them fully.

The Holiday movie boasts a stellar cast of characters. Kate Winslet can rarely do wrong in my book. Jack Black is just the right amount of cheese. Cameron Diaz is just the right amount of dork and Jude Law is definitely the right amount of charm and hotness. THOSE EYES! CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

funny entertainment blog-You're lovely The Holiday

Nancy Meyers wrote and directed the film back in 2006. You need to know this woman. She brought us classics such as Father of the Bride, Baby Boom, The Parent Trap, Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated and most recently, The Intern. In short — Nancy Meyers is the cream to my corn.

Full disclosure — I didn’t love The Holiday when I first saw it.

For those of you silently shunning me right now, calm down and let me explain.

2006 was a sketchy time for me. As you may recall, a year earlier my husband chose to start a life with another woman. I was in what friends call “the dark place.” When I saw The Holiday for the first time, I completely related to Iris and her plight to try and forget a man who was very much a big part of her subconscious. I also thought all romantic comedies were a sick joke — even this one which combined romance with Christmas. To put it bluntly, the movie depressed me and for years I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. Even Jude Law’s chiseled jaw couldn’t break through the layer of sadness I associated with the film.

A few Decembers ago, my sister pulled it up on her newfangled, fancy-pants Apple TV. I sat poised with my hot chocolate as the sweat began to collect under my snowflake pajamas. I was too embarrassed to tell Jamie that this movie made me physically want to curl in the fetal position and eat gummy bears in my bed.

That was the season I gave The Holiday a second chance. I’m so glad I did. I saw the movie through a new set of eyes. Instead of identifying with the sad parts of the storyline, I chose to dive head first into the relentless theme of hope. And the idea of loving again. And Jude Law entertaining his adorable daughters as Mr. Napkinhead. There are so many great lessons to learn in this sweet movie:

Lessons Learned
 from The Holiday

  • There are jerks in this world. Don’t be one of them.
  • You shouldn’t have to wonder if your boyfriend loves you.
  • Never hang out on someone’s back burner.
  • Do not buy your ex-boyfriend a first edition book for Christmas or Hanukkah. He will love it and then announce his engagement to a PYT from the third floor.
  • When you find out your boyfriend has been unfaithful, throwing his clothes off a balcony is perfectly reasonable.
  • Remember: Death by gas stove is never a good choice, no matter how bleak life may seem.
  • Don’t worry if you haven’t cried in 15 years. I’ve cried enough for the both of us. I’m a major weeper.
  • A good edit can make the trailer for a terrible Lindsay Lohan film convince you to spend $12 at a movie theater.
  • The cure to loneliness during the holidays is participating in an overseas home exchange. You’ll end up staying in either an adorable cottage or tricked out MTV crib, meet the love of your life and live happily ever after.
  • Make sure you have at least six adorable coats for wintry months. Even if you live in L.A.
  • Fight the holiday blues by chugging a bottle of wine while you shop for groceries.
  • Santa Ana winds are magical. Stand and wait for something to blow in your eye. A chivalrous stranger will waltz up and offer to remove it for you. Then cupid will shoot his arrow.
  • Blackout curtains are awesome. Blackout shades that filter out all light with the touch of a button are as magical as the Santa Ana winds.
  • Always allow drunken strangers into your holiday home exchange cottage. Especially when they look like Jude Law.
  • Write to Jude Law and ask him to create a YouTube tutorial that teaches men how to kiss.
  • Glasses make you look smarter. Or in Jude’s case, smarter and hotter.
  • Make friends with more spry, old Jewish men.
  • Girly forts with paper stars and twinkly lights are way cooler than boy forts.
  • Any man who can improv in the middle of a Blockbuster just to make you laugh is worth keeping.
  • You are better than that person who keeps dangling you from a string.
  • If a man writes a melody, using only the good notes, explore that business…
  • Froodle-dee-do is a word.
  • Boob grazes are rarely accidental.

What do you think? Am I totally right about The Holiday? Do you think Jude Law was in his prime? Can you think of any other lessons learned that I may have missed?

(Thanks so my friend Stephanie for helping me come up with lessons!)

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December 15, 2015 4:59 pm

Ahh, so many great lessons from The Holiday! I always quote the line, “And remember when they used to say that single women over the age of 35 were more likely to get killed by a terrorist than to get married? Okay, that was horrible but now our generation is also not getting married and, bonus!, real terrorists actually became part of our lives.” So much truth bundled into that little line.

December 15, 2015 5:11 pm

Love that movie. Jack Black and Kate Blanchette made such a cute couple. One lesson learned from this movie is if it’s really real? You’ll both find a way to make it work. Even if it means moving to a foreign country.

Cause in my head canon, she moves her entire business to England. Cause you can cut trailers anywhere.

And you can write musical scores anywhere, so Jack Black moved to Englad to be with Iris.

Okay, time to pull out the movie again. I’ve got it on all mediums now.(Download, DVD, and Thumb Drive)

December 15, 2015 5:12 pm

Winslet, not Blanchette. Whet???

December 15, 2015 6:10 pm

Yes. The end. Period. Full stop. I wholeheartedly agree.


ann blank
ann blank
December 15, 2015 7:42 pm

oh Lincee!! Yes to the lesson about not being on someones back burner!! I am a psychotherapist and have had young women watch The Holiday sozthey could see kate blanchettes epiphany monent : when she says to jerk-face,”I’m not in love with you anymore!” and laughs giddilly! I pesonally used that film moment to “un-dangle myself! A great movie!!!! I love that you love it!!!!!

December 16, 2015 2:22 pm

Thank you Lincee because I’d just like to go on record somewhere to say that Jack Black and Kate Winslet had ZERO chemistry. He’s the guy you keep around for laughs.

(I doubt he would have chemistry with Kat Blanchette either, but someone might pay to see that.)

December 16, 2015 3:16 pm

—Gumption!!! I just think I got some gumption!!!
—I’m looking for a little more corny in my life!
Love it!!

December 16, 2015 4:09 pm

Cameron Diaz is completely adorable and watchable and also a terrible actress. Or is it the lines she’s been given? Either way, I love this movie. Jude’s kids are the cutest.

Also love Last Holiday with Queen Latifah. On one-after-the-other all last weekend.

sarah harper
December 18, 2015 4:18 pm
Reply to  Lincee

I second that you really need to see Last Holiday! It’s just so sweet and Queen Latifah is fun in it. Also, LL Cool J. Enough said.

Love all the lessons from The Holiday!

December 17, 2015 9:02 am

Sounds like a good flick. I’m not sure how I missed it all these years. Thanks for the recommendation.

Oh, and I never knew you were married. I’ve been reading your blog for years and years and somehow never knew that fact.

December 17, 2015 1:12 pm

I’m so glad you chose this movie and that you gave it a second chance. This movie is so relatable and really made me melt over Jude Law.

“Maja Weepa” that’s how I hear that in my head. And don’t you just want to cry when I think Sophia says “the Three Muskateers”.

Thank you Lincee

December 18, 2015 12:01 pm

Ah Lincee – such a great post. This is absolutely one of my favorites. Watching it feels cozy – I know that sounds weird, but you know its true. This Jude Law at his hottest in my opinion 🙂 And I would gladly move into either Iris or Amanda’s houses (or the It’s Complicated house if those aren’t available)

December 18, 2015 1:21 pm

LOVE this post! All of it is true! It’s one of my Christmas movie staples. Jude Law for sure was in his prime and I cannot get over how well Iris sums up all of her feelings to Miles after he finds out about Maggie.

Also, just recently had a great epiphany moment like Iris and its nice to “miraculously not be in love with someone anymore”

December 18, 2015 10:45 pm

“The Holiday” is definitely one of my must-watch Christmas movies, too! I find it very comforting, and strangely relatable (not that I’ve ever done a home exchange!).

My favourite part of the movie is when Iris and Arthur go out for dinner, and Iris tells him about Jasper. Something about the way that Arthur says “he let you go…this isn’t a hard one to figure out”, it gets me every time! I love those characters and the relationship they have.

December 22, 2015 10:35 am

“I love your lipstick”….(said in adorable British little girl voice). Seriously, this is one of my favorite movies.

December 22, 2015 11:47 am

I freakin’ LOVE this movie and am so glad you are now able to fully embrace it, Lincee!! I watch it every year and just swoon over the hotness of Jude. Great film and I wanna live in that cottage.

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