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The Holiday

Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black

There are two romances and two story lines in this film – two different women in different countries who trade places for a holiday. They have both had their hearts broken and need a getaway. The getaway involves each of them meeting some-one new. How can it work when the one they meet lives on the other side of the world?

Each woman becomes involved in a journey of self-discovery on their holidays. They also meet interesting people, form relationships, and discover how strong they are.

I like Kate and Jack much better than Cameron and Jude in this film. In fact, I find Cameron quite annoying in some scenes. There’s a gorgeous role played by Eli Wallach that will make you cry. And in the end, there’s happiness all round.

Not a bad flick, made bearable by Kate Winslet I reckon, still worth a look if you come across it, but wouldn’t bother renting it.

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Shallow Hal

MV5BMTcwMzY2NDE0NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjg2Njc2._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Gwyneth Paltrow, Jack Black, Jason Alexander

On his deathbed, Hal’s father advises him not to settle for mediocre-looking women. So Hal grew up to be a shallow man, try desperately hard to date only beautiful women. He and his friend Mauricio chase women purely based on their looks, discuss them in a very sexist fashion, and expect to be rejected because they know they are out of their league.

Hal meets self-help guru, Tim Robbins, by chance in an elevator. On discussing the problems he has with women, Tim decides to help him. He hypnotises Hal into seeing past the surface, so he can get to the inner beauty. Therefore, when Hal meets obese Rosie, he sees her as slim and beautiful and can’t understand why she agrees to date him, or why she doesn’t have confidence in herself. They date, and both are happy.

But when Mauricio finds out what’s happening, he doesn’t like it and wants Hal to see who he’s dating. Hopefully Hal has already fallen in love with Rosie, so that when the hypnosis is lifted, he won’t care about her size.

I saw this film years ago, but wanted to watch it again to put on the website. Although the message is meaningful, it is somewhat diluted by stereotypes. Nonetheless, it is essentially a story about falling in love, about meeting some-one you really like, some-one who makes you laugh, and seeing people’s inner beauty. Jack Black is funny, Paltrow is loveable, and Jason Alexander is typically revolting.

This film is worth watching if you manage to catch it on TV, or need a second DVD to borrow with your latest release.