There's nothing quite like cozying up to a whimsical, unrealistic Christmas movie to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year. But when you stop to think about it, it's clear that most Christmas movies are absolutely effing ridiculous and far stretches from reality. For one, there's 2006's The Holiday, which is a wild movie for so many reasons. This fan favorite flick is a perfect example of why our inner romantics and realistic adult minds are seriously at odds, especially during the holiday season.
Nancy Meyers' rom-com is completely lovable in all of its cheesiness and unrealistic plots. The premise about is two women (played by Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet) who are alone and depressed at Christmas time, so they swap homes from across the world and fall in love while on their last-minute vacations.
Yes, the premise alone is the most. But the film goes the whole way in its absurdity with almost every detail. The Holiday has a handful of widowers, high amounts of cheating, and no regard for the sh*t show that is expensive travel during the holidays. The nature of The Holiday lends itself to plot holes and a very confusing timeline. (There's also a super dark fan theory about The Holiday, again, born from the film's absurdities.)
Still, the wild things that happen in The Holiday make it all the more fun to watch, especially during Christmas.
1. All Of The Unknown Cheating
How did Iris and Amanda both not know that their significant others had relationships with other women? For extended periods of time? Amanda learns that Ethan cheated on her with his young receptionist and he reveals he's "been sleeping with her" for a while, which he somehow got away with it even though they lived together. Meanwhile, Iris learns her longtime on-and-off guy Jasper is not only in a full-blown relationship with someone else, but engaged. Which brings us to point #2...
2. Iris' Love Triangle
When Iris learns Jasper is newly engaged, she is shocked. But what makes this scenario even more ridiculous is that she, Jasper, and Jasper's new fiancé all happen to work at the same place. And when Iris finds out (at their work's holiday party), she is floored and devastated. Did Jasper and his fiancé never give any inkling that they were together, never mind getting engaged? At all? This whole thing is super suspect.
3. Amanda's Movie Trailer
Amanda, who has an editing room in her house, finalizes an entire movie trailer (with a cameo by Lindsay Lohan and James Franco) for a film that premieres Christmas Day — which is just a few days later. How would a movie trailer premiere a few days before the movie actually came out?
4. The Entire Home Exchange Situation
The thought of exchanging homes isn't that outrageous, especially since this movie came out in 2006 when the internet was far less creepy. But the fact that Iris and Amanda, 6,000 miles away from each other and in different time zones, happened to find each other and be online at the exact time to finalize the deal is pretty absurd. Not to mention, they exchange basic information like "I'm a healthy, non-smoker" without knowing if the other is a serial killer before making the arrangement. Oh, and they both happen to be single, mid-life white women who just endured heart-wrenching breakups and are basically in the exact same stages of life. What a coincidence.
5. Their Itineraries
Let's talk about the fact that Iris and Amanda pack up and fly across the world in less than 24 hours notice, just a day after they meet on the home exchange site. They have no commitments or obligations? And they're willing to pay those last-minute international prices JUST DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS? Super realistic.
6. Amanda's Beau
OK, so Iris happens to have a ridiculously good looking brother (and widower, convenient) Graham, who Amanda meets the night she gets into town (just hours before she's supposed to return back home after changing her mind about the whole vacation). Not only did he happen to travel 45 minutes to Iris' house after a drunken night out, but they also have sex, and it's great sex. Only in the movies...
7. Iris' New Friend
In LA, Iris befriends an old man named Arthur Abbott, who happens to be a widower and screenplay legend. Within just a few hours of meeting, they have a fancy dinner out and Arthur gives Iris advice that changes her life. It all escalates very quickly, which brings us to the next dose of weirdness...
8. Arthur's Training
Iris decides to help Arthur become less dependent on his walker and be more mobile so that he can independently walk up the stairs at a ceremony in his honor (which she also talks him into). The physical exercise and training takes place in the few days between accepting to have the ceremony and the actual ceremony. So within a few days, Arthur can completely walk without a walker and go up stairs alone. That was fast.
9. Iris' Hanukkah Party
In the short amount of time Iris is in LA, she not only befriends Arthur, but apparently his fellow elderly friends (who also appear to be widowers). The creepiness of a young woman having a party alone for three old men is debatable. But did she get to know these men so quickly (within a few days) that she'd have them into a home that isn't even hers? For an intimate dinner? It seems a little fast.
10. Dustin Hoffman
When Miles and Iris take a trip to Blockbuster, Miles sings a tune from The Graduate when the movie's star Dustin Hoffman casually appears down the aisle from them. It's possible, because this is L.A., but also, is it really? What makes the cameo even wilder is that it allegedly wasn't even planned, and Hoffman happened to be outside Blockbuster while they were shooting.
11. Miles' Love Triangle
OK, so no one in this movie has the slightest idea that they're being played. But this ridiculousness is amped up a notch when Miles sees his girlfriend Maggie with another man on her arm outside of a store window he's in in L.A. The chances of this happening in this sprawling city are so slim, take it from a Los Angeles resident. On top of it, he witnesses this while he's with Iris because drama.
12. Arthur's Ceremony
It's a full house on basically no notice. Take it from someone who lives in L.A. and is an entertainment reporter: this would never happen. Not only was Arthur's entire ceremony planned in just a few days, but there wasn't one empty seat in the entire venue. Invites for these sorts of events are given weeks and sometimes months in advance, and no one in L.A. is that available to make this sort of thing happen. (No offense, Arthur.)
13. New Year's Eve
So, Graham, Amanda, and Iris are in London for NYE (which makes sense). But Miles flies there too, again, in a decision he makes just a day or two beforehand. Does anyone in this movie care about budgets? Or have actual schedules or commitments? Flying internationally, with a full-time job, during the holidays, and on a whim is a luxury everyone seems to have in 2006.
14. The Outrageous Timeline
Let's remember that this entire movie unfolds roughly in the span of just two weeks.
That said, may your holiday season be as charmingly unrealistic as it is in The Holiday.