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THE HOLIDAY

About The Production
The initial spark for her new romantic comedy, The Holiday, was ignited a few years ago when screenwriter/director Nancy Meyers was planning a vacation and serendipitously happened upon an internet site that arranges house swapping — across cities, across countries, across continents. "I had no idea this kind of thing ever existed,” she confesses. "On the website, I read about all these fantastic houses. Eventually, I realized I would have to trade mine to get one.”

But the idea of house swapping continued to intrigue her. "I thought it would be a wonderful starting point for two women who are both running away from something,” says Meyers. "Amanda and Iris are both down in the dumps and realize they must do something about it. Swapping houses becomes the first step in taking their lives back.”

Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) runs a thriving L.A. marketing business, but is less successful when it comes to romance. "Her most recent break-up has caught her totally off-guard,” says Diaz. "She decides she has to get away — and that getting some distance may help her cope better.”

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) has just learned that the man she loves is about to marry someone else. "It's like a colossal smack in the mouth,” says the four-time Oscar® nominee. "Iris is vulnerable and naïve when it comes to love and she needs to find a way to get over this man.”

Deep down, both women realize that the problem they're facing is larger than just their most recent disappointment. "I think Amanda and Iris are secretly hoping that the change will help them fix something about themselves, help them address issues they've been dealing with for a long time. Leaving their environments helps them do that,” says Winslet.

"I have the classic male problem of no follow through. Absolutely never remember to call after a date -- but as this wasn't a date, I guess I am off the hook.” — Graham (Jude Law)

"The Holiday is about leaving your baggage behind and opening your eyes to what's in front of you and what you're really feeling,” observes Jude Law, who plays Graham, Iris' brother, in the movie.

"When Amanda meets Graham she is attempting to relax and refocus her life,” says Diaz. "And suddenly, she finds herself falling in love, something she truly didn't expect to happen again so quickly.”

At Amanda's house in Brentwood, Iris befriends one of her neighbors, Arthur (Eli Wallach), a screenwriter from Hollywood's Golden Era. It is just the kind of friendship she needs at the moment — someone who is genuinely interested in her. "He's very good company and his stories about his life, as a screenwriter in Hollywood, fascinate Iris,” says Winslet.

When Iris hosts a Chanukah party for Arthur and his closest friends (played by Bill Macy and Shelley Berman), "I crash the party,” says Jack Black, who plays Miles, a music composer.

Miles is having romantic problems of his own with his girlfriend Maggie, played by Shannyn Sossamon. "Miles is sort of Maggie's lapdog,” observes Black. "He's always falling for the heartbreaking hottie. He wants to share his passion for music with her, but she's not really engaged in his world. It's Iris who becomes interested in everything Maggie's been ignoring.”

Music becomes the vehicle through which Miles expresses his growing affection for Iris. "He walks up and down the aisles of the video store singing the themes of all his favorite movies to her,” says Meyers.

Later, when Iris is at his house, Miles plays a piece of music that he wrote for her, telling Iris that it sounds like her. "That was probably my favorite scene,” recalls Black. "I was just sitting at the piano, playing her songs, and we started singing. It was a very romantic idea and a lot of fun.”

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