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Neal Vitale Reviews: The Holiday

4 stars out of 5

Deep, it's not. Inventive and genre-stretching? Not really. The Holiday instead shows the beauty of knowing what you are - a delightful Christmas confection - and producing it very, very well. Writer/director/producer Nancy Meyers (Something's Gotta Give, What Women Want, Baby Boom, Father Of The Bride, et al.) is brilliant at manufacturing terrifically enjoyable entertainment in a populist vein, creating an ideal blend of cast, dialogue, plot, sets, score, and clever cameos. The Holiday tells the story of two attractive but unhappy-in-love women (Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz) who exchange homes for two weeks in the hope of escaping failed relationships, only to find love (and themselves) among myriad new complexities. The three male protagonists - Jude Law, Jack Black, and Eli Wallach (!) - are all well-cast and immensely appealing. I hate to use the descriptor "feel good," but it characterizes The Holiday perfectly. A wonderful surprise at the cineplex on an evening when everything you came to see is sold out.

--Neal Vitale