Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Holiday

In honor of Christmas, I present The Holiday.


Two beautiful people make out in a garden while romantic music swells in the background. We’ve only just begun, and there’s already a fakeout! Jack Black is sitting in his home studio, recording a score for a schlocky looking movie. If only he knew that the movie he’s in is just as schlocky!

Welcome to The Holiday.

Academy Award Winner Kate Winslet offers the following voiceover: “I have found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said, ‘Journeys end in lovers meeting.’” She immediately undercuts her own statement by saying that while that sounds awesome, she’s NEVER experienced anything like that. Because, you know, Kate Winslet is so homely and charmless that it’s hard to find love out in the cold, dark world.

We are now only a minute and a half into the film, and already there have been three red flags. A fakeout, a voiceover, and somebody quoting Shakespeare.

Anyway, Kate Winslet says that she thinks about love more than anybody else, and quotes Shakespeare again. She alludes to her own romantic difficulties by saying that she KNOWS that love is blind. It must be, since *SPOILER ALERT* she will later fall in love with Jack Black. Even though our introduction to him suggests that he may actually be a serial killer:


Cut to Cameron Diaz, driving in her swanky car and sharing an ambivalent look with her boyfriend Edward Burns while Kate Winslet talks about how for some people, love fades.

Cut to some old guy looking at an old-timey photo of a lady in a wedding dress, while Kate Winslet talks about love being lost.

Cut to Jude Law out at the bar, making eyes at a girl, while Kate Winslet talks about love being found, just for the night.

Kate Winslet knows so many things about so many people! But what about her? Her kind of love is unrequited love. She is in her office (working at a newspaper, writing articles about weddings OF COURSE), and the holiday party is just beginning. Looking around the room, she spies this man, and tells us that she has been in love with him for three years:


Now, Jude Law normally holds the monopoly on looking like a greasy dinosaur in whatever movie he’s in, but Rufus Sewell is really giving him a run for his money here.

Anyway, for some reason, Kate Winslet has been in love with Rufus for all these years, even though he’s made her life miserable. She chats with a coworker about how she and Rufus used to Do It on the regular, but that she was in love with him and he wasn’t in love with her and it was terrible. Blah blah blah. They stopped Doing It because she found out he was Doing It with yet another one of their coworkers. Her friend wisely tells her that most women don’t stay friends with the exes who cheated on them.

This conversation goes on for way longer than necessary, but luckily it does include Kate Winslet acknowledging that she’s pathetic. Unfortunately, she then starts talking about how there have been signs that maybe Rufus wants her again. She’s cut off by her boss telling her that she needs to finish her story before joining the party.

Rufus slithers into her office to chat like the slimy slug that he is. She’s like “OMG Rufus, I Ioooooved your article in today’s paper. Let me creepily quote some of it back to you, verbatim.” He’s like “Yes, I am brilliant.” Kate gives him his fancy present: a first edition of an unspecified book that she found in some used bookstore they romantically found back when they were Doing It. Rufus got her a present too (hopefully a first edition of He’s Just Not That Into You), but he doesn’t have it with him. Because he is a weasely d-bag.

They go back out into the party, where some newspaper bigwig announces that he has news. News that will affect Kate, because she’s going to have to write an article about it. Surprise! Rufus and another coworker are engaged! Seriously, does this guy ever date outside the office pool? Anyway, Kate is crushed and starts crying in public. She goes home to her picturesque cottage to wallow in misery:


In California, Edward Burns is sleeping on the couch because he and Cameron Diaz are on the rocks. He goes upstairs and finds Cameron in a rage. She throws a shoe at his face and he’s like “CAMERON! I DIDN’T SLEEP WITH THAT LADY!” Cameron doesn’t buy it, and asks him to swear on her life. He refuses. They have a boring conversation about how they’ve been having problems for a year, and how he doesn’t like how much she works. Red Flag #4: Cameron is an unemotional workaholic, married to her job. But I bet the love of a good man could cure her of these flaws!

Cameron throws him out of the house, and he’s like “You purposely screw up all of your relationships. You don’t want to be in a relationship.” Actual quote: “You just don’t want to be what I need.” God, Cameron, stop being such a selfish bitch already.

Edward Burns says that it’s super weird that she isn’t crying in this situation. And why isn’t she crying? Because… CAMERON CAN’T CRY™! She just has muscle spasms and hyperventilates. This, believe it or not, is going to be a major plot point in this movie.

Cameron says that since they’re already broken up, Edward Burns should just come clean and admit that he cheated on her. Even though the Wise Background Minority (in this case, a gardener) shakes his head at him, he confesses.


Edward Burns is a real prize, and insinuates that it’s her fault that she cheated on him. She punches him in the face. This is one of the very few satisfying moments of the entire movie.

Cameron goes inside, and is greeted by one of her employees in the movie trailer making business. I don’t know if this chick lives there as an indentured servant or what, because Cameron is still in her PJs, but whatever. Her name is Bristol, and she’s played by Kathryn Hahn. Cameron’s other employee is played by John Krasinski. You will never see them again after this scene. It’s pretty random. Anyhow, we are treated to a fake trailer for a fake movie starring Lindsay Lohan and James Franco. This is Mean Girls era Lindsay Lohan, so it’s a little poignant. The movie the trailer is for looks like it’s actually probably way better than this one. It involves explosions, and Lindsay Lohan’s father having a secret identity. And there’s this exchange:

Lindsay Lohan:
How do you happen to have two guns?
James Franco: I didn’t think one would be enough.

Sounds like comic gold.

Anyway, even amid her emotional distress, Cameron is SO GOOD AT HER JOB. She makes some suggestions for improving the trailer, and Kathryn Hahn and John Krasinski are basically just like “You are so good at your job.” Cameron says that they should all just take a few weeks off from work. They’re like “WTF, Cameron, you don’t even know what a vacation is. You are such a tightly-wound workaholic.” Cameron makes a stupid Eat, Pray, Love speech like “I wanna eat carbs and read a book! Did you know that stress makes women age prematurely! But not men! They just get hotter!” John Krasinski cutely says “Sorry.” Cameron continues to rant about how she’s more likely to be killed by a terrorist than get married and life is so unfair etc etc.

We’re about to hit Red Flag #5: a character Googles something with unrealistic results.

Now, this is probably one of the worst scenes in the whole movie. It is basically the scene that sets the rest of the events of the movie in motion, so from a plot point it is super important and necessary, but it is just so ludicrous.

Cameron types “vacation spots” into Google, but before hitting “search,” she feels the need to attempt to cry. It doesn’t work, because Cameron Can’t Cry™. She “hilariously” tries to work herself up into hysterics, but eventually decides to move on. She spends the next few minutes clicking through the results and, I shit you not, carrying on an entire conversation with herself. Sample lines:

“Bora Bora? Kayak for one? No thank you!”

“Vacation rentals? I could do that!”

She finds a home exchange website, and takes us through selecting a country (“Where do they speak English?” England!) and randomly choosing “Cotswolds” on the city list as her first choice, but eventually switching to Surrey because Cotswolds looks like a shithole.

She finds an ad that was conveniently placed by Kate Winslet. Cameron is charmed by the photo of the cottage, and Kate’s flowery prose about curling up with a hot cup of cocoa. Meanwhile, Kate is hysterically weeping in her cottage and listening to sad Christmas music. While lighting up the stove to heat up some water, she actually pauses and considers gassing herself to death. Luckily, her computer beeps at her and she turns off the gas, slaps herself in the face and yells “No point!” Seriously. This is a thing that happens in this movie. She goes to the computer and sees a message from Cameron, asking if she can rent her cottage for Christmas.

Cameron and Kate now literally carry out an IM conversation with each other where they not only exposit about what a “home swap” is, but actually say everything they’re typing OUT LOUD. It’s terrible. And like, both of these ladies are perfectly competent actresses and they’re doing the best they can, but there’s no way that this isn’t just a horrible scene.

They both are getting really excited about trading homes, but Cameron has one question for Kate.





Cameron is now 100% on board. Who wouldn’t want to spend the holidays in an idyllic cottage that is apparently a part of some ladies-only commune? They agree to trade TOMORROW. Must be nice!

The next day, Kate is on the plane when a ~*~total hottie~*~ shows up to sit next to her. But OH NO! his girlfriend shows up and is like “Sorry honey, we’re over here” and makes a bitchy face.

Some doddering old ladies are sitting next to her instead. Kate’s life is so tragic.

She gets a text message from Rufus, asking how he can reach her while she’s on vacation. Kate actually sacks up for the first time probably in her life and tells him that she needs to fall out of love with him, so he needs to GTFO.

On her flight, Cameron apparently intends to read all of bestselling books she’s been missing out on in her life as a workaholic. She literally has a stack of nine books sitting next to her in first class. This is a real thing that people do in life, clearly.


She pops an Ambien and settles down with a sleep mask to take a nap, but then hallucinates a movie trailer about her own life. Maybe it wasn’t an Ambien after all…


Kate basks in the warmth and cranes her head out of the window of the cab like a dog.


Cameron drives through the snowy English countryside. Her town car stops at the end of a lane, because the path is too small to drive down. Cameron CAN’T BELIEVE that she has to walk the rest of the way in the stilettos that she apparently wore on her flight. Culture shock!


Kate can’t believe how huge Cameron’s house is! It has a gate and everything! She prances around and acts like the proverbial kid in a candy store/a total nutcase.


Cameron is disgusted by the ancient furnishings in Kate’s cottage. She drives into the village and experiences the classic “OMG I’m driving on the wrong side of the road” moment (AKA Red Flag #6). She nearly crashes and nearly kills a biker, but eventually makes it to the grocery store. She drinks straight from a bottle of wine while she shops which seems like a terrific idea. She buys mostly cheese, wine, and chocolate.

Back at the cottage, she drinks wine in bed and watches her newly completed movie trailer on TV. This makes her happy for 30 seconds before she gets restless and goes downstairs and lights a fire. Cameron is so bored. There is nothing to do in this picturesque cottage except watch TV, read one of the hundreds of books, and sit by the fire. Terrible. Luckily, she gets crunk and starts listening to/enthusiastically singing along to The Killers. This part is actually so true to life. The year this movie came out I was studying abroad in England and this song was playing EVERYWHERE there. Good job, music supervisor. Not so good job, Cameron. Her singing is almost unbelievably terrible.

Things die down again, and Cameron tries to read on the couch but finds it so boring that she gets into a staring contest with Kate’s dog.



Kate is having a much better time living it up at Cameron’s swanky pad. She goes swimming and avails herself of Cameron’s massive DVD collection (bigger even than mine, which is saying something! I mean, I even own THIS movie which might tell you something about my own personal issues).

A phone starts ringing to let her know that somebody is at the gate. She can’t figure out how to work it, but eventually gets through to the speaker. Jack Black and his bitchy girlfriend are at the gate. Jack is charmed when Kate swears while trying to figure out how to open it. He introduces himself to Kate as somebody who works with Edward Burns. Kate is like “I don’t know whotf that is. I just met Cameron on the internet yesterday and she didn’t give me any information about how to work her technological gadgets or the fact that she runs a business out of her house. It’s no biggie.”

The wind blows something into Kate’s eye, and in classic romantic comedy fashion, Jack helps her get it out. This is less romantic when the guy’s girlfriend is sitting two feet away. And when the guy is Jack Black. But whatever. It’s cute? He explains that the wind is the Santa Anas, and that anything can happen when the Santa Anas are blowing. Like, gorgeous and intelligent women can fall in love with Jack Black? Ok, maybe I’m being too hard on Jack Black. I should disclaim that I don’t dislike him and in fact have actually liked him in several movies. But… you know. Whatever.

Jack tells Kate that he is a film composer. Kate asks if he composed the song that’s playing in his car, and he’s like “Nope. That’s Ennio Morricone.” It’s kind of like in Bring It On when Jesse Bradford wears a Clash t-shirt to school and Kirsten Dunst asks if they’re his band.

Bitchy girlfriend is getting bored and gets out of the car, so Jack introduces her. She’s played by Shannyn Sossamon, who is an attractive lady but looks TERRIBLE here.


I think it’s the bangs.

Kate asks Jack to come back tomorrow so she can check with Cameron to make sure he’s legit. As he drives away, she sees the old man from the very beginning of the movie walking down the street.

Jet lag catches up with Kate, and she flops into bed in the middle of the afternoon.


Cameron lies awake in bed in the middle of the night, and somebody starts pounding on the door. When she calls out to ask who’s there, Kate’s claim that there are no men in her town is proved false. Jude Law is at the door, asking to be let in and threatening to pee on the front door. He’s REALLY embarrassed when Cameron opens the door. You see, he’s Kate’s brother, and apparently shows up drunk on her doorstep on the regular. He forgot Kate was out of town.

Jude is hammered. He apologizes for intruding, and Cameron explains the whole home swap thing. Jude is like “But Kate never takes vacations! How out of character for her!”

He asks how her vacation is going, and she says it’s so terrible that she’s going home tomorrow. She can’t believe she went through with this stupid idea! Even though they’re both already pretty crunk, they decide to pop open a bottle of brandy. Jude awkwardly and abruptly asks if she’s married. Don’t you think her husband would be here if she were, dummy? They establish that they’re both single, and get to the drinking. Cameron agrees to let him stay the night. I wonder where this is heading?

Jude asks Cameron why she decided to take a transcontinental trip on a whim, and she explains that she dumped her boyfriend yesterday and didn’t want to be alone for the holidays, but oops, now not only is she alone, but she’s in a place where she literally knows nobody. Nice thinking, Cameron. She’s all like “LOL I’m such a wreck. I bet you’re sorry you came here and had to listen to my sad and weird story” but Jude is like “Actually I’m super glad to be here (because you’re hot).” She says goodnight, and he responds by saying “Sweet dreams” and kissing her on the lips. You know, the traditional English way of saying goodnight to a stranger. Not at all weird.

Then they Do It.

Well, actually, first Cameron is like “Let’s kiss four times as an experiment.” Jude is like “I kiss strangers all the time.” Cameron is like “Since we’re both drunk and I’m on vacation, let’s Get It On. Oh, but spoiler alert, I’m not good at sex according to my ex-boyfriend.” Jude is like “I don’t believe that! How could a hot lady like you be bad at sex? Impossible! How do you feel about foreplay?” and Cameron is like “Hate it. Overrated.” Jude is like


The next morning Jude is like “I can’t find my contacts! Oh no, I have to put on my glasses” and it’s like woah, he’s not a British beefcake anymore. He looks like a REAL intellectual. He’s so smart that he’s able to solve the mystery of why Cameron can’t make the coffee maker work (it’s not plugged in, duh-doy!).

They have an awkward conversation about how last night was a one time thing, you don’t need to worry about it bro, oh you weren’t bad at sex btw Cameron, etc etc. Jude’s phone rings and Cameron is a creeper and reads the caller ID. OMG, it’s a woman! Sophie. Jude is like “LOL I will call her back.” Remember this moment, as I will have retroactive outrage about it later on.

Cameron tries to pour him a cup of coffee, but he has to run. She starts to feel cheap, but Jude is like “My life is totes complicated. You wouldn’t want to be involved with me anyway. You are better off.” Cameron is like, “You too. I am also a mess. Also, I promise not to fall in love with you… not to be an asshole or anything. I think I’m not capable of love.” Jude is like “I find you fascinating” with zero sarcasm.

Oh my god, I can’t believe this scene is still going on. If this is the most boring recap of all time, please do not blame me. I’m trying. Anyway, Jude literally has his foot out the door, but he can’t stop yammering on about how usually he hurts women by accident because he is a doofus, and he never remembers to call after a date, but oh wait, this wasn’t a date so he’s off the hook, but oh wait, what if I want to call you? Cameron is like “Back off, buddy.” Jude doesn’t know when to stop and says that if she doesn’t end up leaving, she should come find him at some restaurant later. Then he FINALLY leaves.

At the airport, Cameron has a sudden change of heart due to yet another hallucination of a movie trailer about her life (this one featuring the voiceover “Amanda wasn’t looking for love, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t find her!”). Red Flag #7: a character makes it all the way to her gate at the airport, then changes her mind and leaves.


Kate wakes up, turns on “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” by Jet (which I think was already a little passé by the time this movie came out, but whatevs) and starts dancing around in her pajamas like a lunatic, all without ever actually standing up. Her buzz is killed when Rufus calls, clearly violating her very reasonable request that he leave her the fuck alone. She thinks he’s calling because he’s realized he’s in love with her, but actually he just wants her to critique some pages from the book he’s working on. What a douche. He makes a lecherous comment about some bikini she used to have, and her heart is so warmed. But then she hears him talking to his fiancée and remembers that she is a moron.


Jude arrives at the restaurant and sees Cameron waiting for him. He smiles lecherously.


Kate is driving home from somewhere and sees the old man, who appears to be lost. She pulls over and asks if he needs a ride. He asks if she knows where he lives, and she says she does. He introduces himself as Arthur, and explains that the neighborhood has been torn down and rebuilt so many times that he doesn’t recognize anything anymore, which is why he got lost. He asks Kate what part of England she’s from, and in the hands down winner for worst line reading so far this movie (which is impressive considering that it’s just one word), she gets weirdly excited and emphatically says “Surrey!” She has serious crazy eyes going, too. Arthur doesn’t notice, and says “Oh yeah, Cary Grant was from Surrey. He told me so once.” Kate is like “Hold up, what now?”

She helps him out of the car, and he says that they had a great “meet cute.” This is all to establish that he is a former screenwriter from the golden age of Hollywood. Kate is very considerate, helping him open doors, but then she walks into his house uninvited which is a little weird. She starts snooping and sees he has a ton of awards lying around, including an Oscar! When Kate spies the Oscar, you can practically see her salivating.


Not knowing when to leave is apparently a family trait for Kate and Jude, because before she gets out of there, she takes a long look around and then asks him to go to dinner with her. Sadly this is a more believable romantic pairing than Kate and Jack Black. But anyway, Arthur is thrilled!

At dinner, Arthur tells Kate charming stories about his career in Hollywood. He segues into asking why Kate is spending Christmas alone and hanging out with a random old person. Kate tells him about Rufus and starts crying in public AGAIN. They both call him a schmuck, and Arthur tells Kate that all women are either leading ladies or best friends, and Kate needs to start acting like a leading lady. Which, like, what the f does that even mean? That half the women in the world are just Judy Greer in any movie she’s ever been in 24/7? Anyway, Kate thinks this is the most inspirational thing she’s ever heard, and complains that her therapist has never explained anything to her so well before.


Cameron and Jude talk about how drunk she got last night after they met up at the restaurant or whatever. She has the BIGGEST HANGOVER :(

Cameron doesn’t remember what happened that night, and is embarrassed to find her bra hanging on a chair? But they already have seen each other naked so I don’t see what the big deal is… But anyway, she asks if they Did It, and he says no. She asks why, and she said because she was unconscious. HE IS SUCH A GENTLEMAN. She wonders why he stayed when she was such a hot mess, but he says that she begged him to stay. He’s ok with it though, because hanging with her is like an adventure. His words.

His phone rings, and Cameron looks at the caller ID AGAIN and sees that it’s a girl named Olivia. STOP SNOOPING, YOU CREEP. Jude says he has to take it and Cameron is totes jealous. He takes the phone outside, and she spies on him talking and laughing and actually says “Sophie, Olivia, Amanda… busy guy!” out loud.

Jude comes back and tells her that they need to go have a falling in love montage. Well actually he says they should go get lunch and get to know each other. But same diff.

They have been sitting at the restaurant for like two seconds, and Cameron starts barraging him with questions about his life. Jude is a book editor OF COURSE because he wears glasses, duh. He’s like “LOL don’t you know how to date? I feel like I’m on a job interview!” Then he says since they already Did It they don’t need to be so formal with each other. He tells her about how his whole family is in publishing, and his mom is a very important lady at Random House or something. Which leads me to believe that Kate must really be the black sheep of the family since she just works writing about weddings for some newspaper.

Now it’s Cameron’s turn, and she tells him about her high-flying career as a movie trailer maker. He is surprised to hear that she owns the company, and she says that she didn’t want to tell him at first, but now that she knows that he had a strong working mom, she thinks he can handle the truth and not be intimidated. Feminism? Ugh, this movie is the worst.

Jude makes the fatal mistake of asking Cameron about her family, and she does a frowny face and tells him her sad, sad origin story. Her parents broke up when she was 15, which was a SHOCK to her because they were so close and called themselves the Three Musketeers. She thought they were joking when they told her, but then she saw her dad’s suitcase and knew it was for realsies. She cried herself to sleep the night her dad left, but then decided that she needed to SACK UP! And she hasn’t cried or, I shit you not, bought a backpack or suitcase since. Don’t ask me how she transported her stack of nine books or endless supply of stilettos across the Atlantic Ocean without a suitcase. In her emotional baggage?

Jude is like “OMG, you haven’t cried since you were 15? WTF?” But seriously, that is not the weirdest part of what she just told you, dude! SHE HAS NEVER BOUGHT A BACKPACK OR A SUITCASE. She explains that she’s tried to cry but it doesn’t work. She doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. He tells her that he cries “more than any woman you’ve ever met.” He then rattles off a list of things that make him cry:




Now that Jude has admitted that he’s a big crybaby, they can have their falling in love montage for real. They feed each other, walk through an English garden giggling, make out in front of a fountain, make out against an old stone wall, and Red Flag #8 – he picks her up and twirls her around.

Later on they pull up to the cottage and tell each other that they had such a great time. Cameron tells him that he doesn’t need to walk her in because it’s cold, and he’s like “OH I SEE. YOU DON’T WANT ME TO COME IN.” She says she wants to take a nap, but it’s a lie. She just thinks it’s SO complicated because she’s leaving in nine days.

Cameron offers this pearl of wisdom: “Sex makes everything complicated. Even when you don’t have it, the not having it makes things complicated.”

Jude: “Which is usually why it’s better to have it. Some say.”

He promises not to come drunkenly banging on her door again, and she says she’ll see him around.


Jack Black shows up at Kate’s house and is surprised to see that she seems to be having some kind of party. On his way in, he hands her a Fed Ex envelope that was outside. It’s the pages from Rufus’s book, and he didn’t even include a note with them because he’s SUCH A JERK. Poor Kate, boo hoo. Luckily, she is in the middle of a Hanukkah party with a bunch of old men. Jack Black asks if she converted in the last 24 hours (not that her religion came up in your one conversation, Jack Black, you don’t know her life!) but she says it’s because she just made friends with all of Arthur’s friends who are apparently all Jewish. She invites him to join the festivities.

Everybody is having a GREAT TIME. You can tell because they’re all laughing and Jack Black makes a joke about drinking too much Manischewitz. They all start talking about the loves of their lives, and Jack Black tells them about his bitchy girlfriend Shannyn Sossamon who is shooting on location in New Mexico.

After the old guys leave, Jack Black tells Kate what a great party it was, and then says some exposition stuff about how Arthur is one of the last remaining legends of that era or something. Apparently, Arthur was responsible for changing “Here’s looking at you, Ilsa” to “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Red Flag #9: historical retcon. Kate says that Arthur has a list of movies she needs to see, and Jack Black offers to watch some with her. OMG TRUE LOVE IN THE MAKING.

Now, this is the first time that I’ve REALLY wanted to be able to post a clip in one of these recaps, but of course I couldn’t find it on Youtube. You’ll just have to take my word for it that Jack Black’s reading of the following line is totally bonkers: “The brisket was great, and those chocolate-covered macaroons… delectable!” It’s basically like Jack Black was given this line and thought, “Hmm, this sounds like something a grownup would say. I must make it more Jack Black-ish by over-annunciating every word like a jackass.”



Cameron takes a bath and talks to herself about what a jerk she is for her weird conversation with Jude earlier. Another movie trailer voiceover starts up, talking about how she pushes men away and does she even want to change? She tells the voice in her head to shut up. Danger signs, y’all.

She decides to go for it with Jude and goes over to his house with some food and a bottle of wine. When he answers the door, she is surprised to see and hear some telltale signs of Jude having another woman over. UGH I BET IT’S ONE OF THOSE BITCHES WHO WAS CALLING HIM is probably what she is thinking. Jude admits that he isn’t alone. BUT SHOCKER! IT’S HIS TWO DAUGHTERS….. SOPHIE AND OLIVIA! She makes this face when she sees the first child:


God knows what she thought was going on before he explained to her that she’s his daughter. Or, in his words: “Yes, I am daddy.”

So this is the rant I referred to way long ago when Cameron saw Sophie’s name on the caller ID. So many things are wrong here. First, do both of his daughters have personal cell phones that make their names pop up on caller ID? They are like six years old tops. And remember how Jude has spent the last two nights having an adult sleepover with Cameron? WHERE WERE HIS CHILDREN????????? And REMEMBER HOW HE DID NOT TAKE THAT FIRST CALL? FROM HIS CHILD??????????????? Ugh!!!!

Anyway, Jude invites her in. She is embarrassed to be wearing a sexy outfit, but the girls think she’s sooooo glamorous and beautiful and one of them says “You look like my Barbie.”

She covertly asks him if he’s divorced, but he tells her that he’s a widower. POOR JUDE! YOU MUST HEAL HIM WITH YOUR LOVE, CAMERON!

They all sit down around the kitchen table to drink hot chocolate. These children are really precious and one of the only things I like about the movie. They ask Jude to do “Mr. Napkin Head” which is basically exactly what it sounds like. Jude puts a napkin on his face and puts his glasses on over it. It’s hilarious? Or something.

Jude proves that he is such a good father in this scene by telling the girls to blow on their hot chocolate before drinking it, and turning the Mr. Napkin Head routine into an anti-smoking PSA.


Sophie excitedly tells Cameron that they have a tent in their room and asks if she wants to see it. Jude is like “Now now girls, Cameron doesn’t want to see your stupid-ass tent.” Olivia then looks very sad and says “You don’t like tents?” They go upstairs and see a weirdly elaborate and huge tent which is basically like a seven-year-old girl’s version of Troy and Abed’s blanket fort. They all lie down in it and talk about how cozy and beautiful it is. She asks who made the decorations, and they tell her that they all did and refer to themselves as the Three Musketeers! OMG, just like Cameron’s broken family!

The little girls LOVE Cameron and tell her she smells good and has pretty eyeshadow. It’s just a very accurate portrayal of how children react when their single parents start dating.

Here is an actual line of dialogue: “We never have grownups here that are girls… I really like it.” So does Kate never visit her nieces? What a b!

When the girls are in bed, Jude talks about what a big hit Cameron was. She’s like “Oh hey, whytf didn’t you tell me you have children.” Valid. He says it’s too hard being a single guy when people know you have kids. But dude, I’ve seen enough movies and TV shows to know that guys with kids are chick magnets. But whatever. He says he’s a working dad, both a mother and a father.

Moral of the story: he doesn’t know how to be a dad and a boyfriend.


Kate goes over to Arthur’s house and he immediately starts talking about how different Hollywood is today. Apparently whoever wrote this movie has an axe to grind, because Arthur complains that there are nine movies opening this weekend, and so a movie has to make a killing or else it’s a failure! “This is supposed to be conducive to great work?” Is that an excuse for why this movie is so terrible?

Kate has brought in the mail, and there’s a letter from the Writers Guild of America. Arthur isn’t interested in reading it because they keep writing to him about how they want to have a tribute to him. But he’s so humble and self-effacing that he doesn’t want to do it. Also he is embarrassed that he is old and can’t walk without a walker. Kate argues that if he exercises a little, he could walk on stage just fine, and she would be his date.

Now we have the old man version of the classic training montage. He walks in a pool. Kate kicks his walker away from him as he reaches for it. It’s charming?


Jude calls Kate. I was going to try to write something funny about it, but actually nothing can beat the actual words that they say:

So are you ever coming home?
Kate: Oh my god, hi!
Jude: How’s it going?
Kate: Great, I met a really nice guy.
Jude: See, and you said you’d never! What’s he like?
Kate: He’s really cute. I feel great when I’m with him, which is an entirely new experience, and he’s about ninety years old.

She explains that he’s Cameron’s neighbor, and mentions that he should meet Cameron. He’s like “Been there, done that. Literally.” At that exact moment, Cameron calls! Speak her name and she doth appear. Kate says she has Jude on the other line, and Cameron is like “OMG JUDE? HOW IS HE?” Kate’s like “Um, he’s fine. BRB.” Kate switches over to Jude and she tells him Cameron is calling. He’s like “OMG CAMERON? HOW IS SHE?” Ugh. So finally she figures out that they Did It. She transfers to Jude and says “I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE HAD SEX WITH THE WOMAN STAYING IN MY HOUSE!” But whoops, she didn’t actually transfer! LOLOL. She transfers again and says a more detailed shouty version of the above. But whoops, she still has Cameron on the line. Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh.

Another call comes in, and it’s Jack Black! They arrange to go to the video store together.

Jack Black is soooo sweet and brings her a frappuccino at Blockbuster. Double the product placement, double the ugh. They look at movies and Jack Black feels the need to comment only on movies with famous scores, and then sings the scores because he is Jack Black. Kate is so charmed! Because I really think she was dropped on her head as a child. Jack picks up The Graduate and busts out some Simon & Garfunkel, and we cut to Dustin Hoffman in the next aisle. Dustin shakes his head and says “Can’t go anywhere.” LOL? According to the internet, Dustin Hoffman just happened to be in the neighborhood the day they were shooting this scene and agreed to do a cameo. Probably because he saw Kate Winslet and thought this was a real movie. Egg on his face!

Anyway, they’re having such a great time, until OMG! Jack Black sees Shannyn Sossamon outside canoodling with some doofus. He runs after them and they yell at each other on the street while Kate’s heart slowly breaks for him. They go back to Kate’s place and he whines about how he always falls for the bad girl. They commiserate about how they’re both in love with assholes. Kate tries to cheer him up by telling the story of Rufus. But then she ends up just ranting about how she’s wasted so much time and her life is so sad! Jack is like “You need this booze more than I do.” Way to steal his sad thunder, Kate! Geez. They hug and have some Christmas fettuccini.


Cameron is also having Christmas fettuccini. Is this a thing?


Kate and Jack Black help Arthur try on fancy suits.


Cameron goes hiking in the picturesque English countryside and tries to make herself cry. And fails.

Jude hangs out at home with his children, but can’t stop thinking about Cameron.

Cameron starts packing, and Jude shows up at her door. They immediately start making out.


At Jack Black’s home studio, he plays Kate the theme music he wrote for Arthur to walk on stage to at his tribute. It’s a jaunty little song and Kate is like “OMG Jack Black, you are sooo talented.” He tells her he wrote one for her too, and starts to play it. It’s soooooooooooooooooo beautiful that her heart melts. He ruins it by singing nonsense words over it. The words: “Iris lives next door to Arthur. He’s a doodly-doo. And also a scroodly-doo. A froodly-doo.” For real.


Cameron and Jude have just Done It again. Jude is like “Cameron you are so good at sex you were totally wrong that one time you said you were bad at it.” Cameron is like “Our situation is so complicated” for the hundredth time. Jude wants to do a long-distance relationship, but Cameron can’t even make it work when she lives in the same house as her boyfriend! Cameron then annoyingly explains in detail how their potential relationship will ultimately fall apart. Because she is always pushing people away! So they should just leave it as a fling. Jude is like “You are so depressing. I’m in love with you.” UGH. He looks so smarmy when he says this. He goes on a whole rant about how he loves her which I wouldn’t bother recapping except that this amazing moment happens. He says he knows that he’s a package deal, having kids and all. And then, and I quote:


You heard it here first, ladies.

He ends on basically “All I want for Christmas is you.” Cameron is like, “I didn’t expect this. Don’t look at me. I don’t know what to say. Ummmmmm” and he’s like Cameron is like “Shut up I want to Do It again now please.” So they do.


Kate and Jack Black sit at a restaurant talking once again about Arthur’s list of classic movies they need to watch. Jack Black accidentally touches her boob and then talks about it for too long because he is Jack Black. But Kate finds it HILARIOUS. Buzzkill! Shannyn Sossamon calls Jack Black and wants to meet up. He rudely makes plans with her right in front of Kate. And then keeps checking his watch. She’s like “No worries bro, just go! I’ll see you at Arthur’s thing.” He says he’s not sure if he can make it. Kate is like It runs in the family.

Kate goes back to the house and starts to read the pages Rufus sent to her. The phone rings, and it’s Rufus! And he’s at the house! And he has her Christmas present! All of her dreams are coming true! He says he came because he had to see her. And he hated when he could no longer see her or talk to her and he just doesn’t want to lose her! She is super confused by his mixed signals.

Meanwhile, Shannyn Sossamon is begging for Jack Black’s forgiveness.


Cameron and Jude lie in bed and Cameron looks sad and conflicted. Jude is snoozing contentedly.


Kate and Rufus cuddle on the couch and he says they should go on a romantic trip to Venice. She’s like “For real? You aren’t single.” He says he just flew halfway around the world to see her, but she is wise to his mind games and points out that that’s not really an answer to her question. She asks if he’s still with his fiancée, and he’s like “Can’t you just be happy that I’m confused? :(”

All of a sudden, Kate finally realizes that they’re not right for each other, and she doesn’t love him anymore! It’s a Christmas miracle! She tells him off for being such a jag and jerking her around for all these years. She was actually starting to redeem herself as a character until she said “I’ve got a life to start living… and you’re not going to be in it!” with this truly psychotic look on her face.

She slams the door in his face, literally screams with excitement, and gets all dolled up to take Arthur to his tribute. He asks if his tie looks ok because he hasn’t worn one in 15 years! How sweet? He bought her a corsage because he’s old-school.

They arrive at the theater and find that it’s packed! Arthur is flabbergasted and everybody’s heart is warmed. It’s time to go on stage, but there are stairs to walk up! Arthur doesn’t think he can do it, but suddenly Jack Black’s song starts playing and it gives him the courage to do it! He does a jaunty jig up the stairs and everybody cheers.

Jack Black arrives! Kate is so excited. He tells her that he is SO DONE with Shannyn Sossamon and that she looks BEAUTIFUL.

Arthur gives a speech and it’s heartwarming. Arthur is the only likeable or interesting character in this movie, btw.

Anyway, Jack Black asks Kate what she’s doing for New Years, and she says she’ll be back in England. He then literally says “You know, I’ve never been to England.” YOU PEOPLE HAVE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR 20 MINUTES!!!!!! DON’T INVITE YOURSELF TO HER COUNTRY YOU CREEP! But she is a nutjob and is like “Yes, you should come to England.” They kiss.



Cameron and Jude are saying goodbye. They promise to email each other every day and have no rules in their “relationship.” They kiss. She gets in the car, and drives off. The driver asks how her holiday was and she’s like “Best holiday ever!” She starts having some kind of hot flash, and then OMG SHE STARTS TO CRY! IT’S ANOTHER CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!!!!!!! She is so happy to be crying and the driver is like “This lady is going to murder me probably.” Movie trailer voiceover guys says “Amanda Woods… welcome back!” Somewhere in this movie there is a second movie happening about Cameron’s struggles with schizophrenia, I swear.

She predictably tells the driver to stop the car and runs back to the cottage. OMG, remember when she was sooooo mad that she had to walk down this lane at the beginning of the movie? She has grown SO MUCH as a human being.

Back at the cottage, she finds Jude staggering around, weeping. She says that she wants to stay for New Years with him and his children.


Kate, Jack Black, Jude, Cameron and the children all hang out and everybody acts like they’re on shrooms or something. They are one big happy unconventional family! Jack Black and Cameron have a dance-off. Kate and Jude dance with each other in a slightly creepy manner for siblings. They start a conga line. Typical family stuff. We end the movie with nothing resolved in regards to how these couples are going to deal with the fact that they live on different continents, but for now they’re happy. And I’m just happy it’s over.


Mrs. Robinson said...

This was almost as entertaining as the movie. THANK YOU for pointing out that the two girls have cell phones with their own caller IDs in 2006 and that their aunt never visits them. It's always bugged me!

Kathryn said...

Oh, and she says "LOW POINT!" not "NO POINT!" :)

Maraki368 said...

Omggg I could not stop Laughing out Loud throughout your Hilarious review of this movie, thank God it was Made just for This. Speaking of Googling, the way I found this Brilliant review was by typing in the words, didn't Kate winslet ever go in the tent LMAOOOOO. Also to your point of Cameron s suitcase aversion, wasn't That part of the cursing n lugging to the cottage? Lmao again. Thank You for the MEDS, I will be reading up on You��