It’s the quintessential holiday movie.
It’s the one that makes you want to buy a rustic hamlet in London just so you can get snowed-in and light fires.
It’s the one that makes you feel better about all the times you’ve had solo dance (and singing) parties.
It’s the one every girl forces their boyfriend or husband to watch “at least one time!” come December. (And it’s also the one that maybe half of those boyfriends and husbands actually, but secretly, enjoy.)
It’s the one that makes you want to go to a charming pub and wave at every strapping gentleman you see whilst you’re mysteriously sitting by yourself, drinking white wine, and wearing a soft, cozy sweater. (Ugh, wait…is that just me?)
…It’s none other than my all-time favorite holiday movie…(if you haven’t already guessed)…Nancy Meyer’s The Holiday!! I mean, could the title be more appropriate?
Ok, now that we’ve established that…let’s get to the point of this post. The truth is, this movie is more than just incredibly hot British accents and Scroodle-ee-doos and Mr. Napkinhead and five minutes of Ed Burns‘ voice and meet-cutes and a great soundtrack…
It’s also an excellent example of two women Shaking Things Up – which, if you didn’t already know, is pretty much my go-to phrase these days.
Now, the movie has been out since December 2006. That’s seven holiday seasons prior to this one. On average, let’s say I watch twice a year, that’s 7 x 2…so, going into this season I may have watched the movie 14 times. (Maybe less, taking into consideration the handful of times I fell asleep 20 minutes and a glass of wine after I pressed play.) Every time I watched, that same excitement would arise: Yay, for Christmas! The Holidays are here! Where’s the eggnog?
This year, however, something changed.
I watched the movie for, I guess, the 15th time this past weekend. I still got the same excitement, but I found myself interpreting the film differently than I had in the past. I noticed new things, laughed more, and cried at the usual parts – but for new reasons.
After my own year of Shaking Things Up and finally making the decision to step away from one career and pursue another, I found myself feeling very proud of Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet) by the end of the movie. It’s very easy to relate to the struggles they were both facing in their personal lives before they decided to just pack up and head to a new place for their Holiday.
Hmmm, that sounds like the message here is: “Run away from your problems!” Perhaps, but I beg to differ.
Instead, I call it the perfect example of shaking things up by doing something that you never thought you could or would do.
That was absolutely the case for both of these women. Amanda was a workaholic in LA who never thought she WOULD take a break, let alone a trip to London, because it would interrupt her successful business. Iris was a heartbroken wedding announcement writer for a British newspaper who never thought she COULD just get up and go to Los Angeles because, quite frankly, she didn’t believe she was strong enough (hence, why she was hung up on “Jaspa” for so long).
BUT – what happened to these women when they finally decided to bite the bullet and Shake Things Up?
She found herself and finally cried!
She became a “leading lady” in her own life!
…And you thought I was gonna write “They found the men of their dreams!” Yes, that did happen, and it’s one of the many reasons we love this movie – but it’s not ALL that happened.
I discovered a deeper meaning to The Holiday during this 15th viewing. I related to it so much more because I’ve been there. I will be the first to attest that when we shake things up and do things outside of our comfort zone and explore new places and interact with new people – we instantly start to learn more about ourselves, gain confidence, and open the door for greater, more positive things to happen.
I’ll leave you with that. If you’ve already seen this wonderful movie, please continue to enjoy it this season. If you haven’t seen it yet, I hope you will do so real soon. And might I add, this movie goes perfect with a couch, a candle, and a cocktail…I recommend the Pumpkin Martini to really get you in “the holiday” spirit.
Cheers, Natalie xo