Here’s a thing I think about every Christmas: why did The Holiday give us such an unsatisfying ending?
Let me first clarify by saying that I love The Holiday. LOVE. It’s perfect in almost every way, minus a terribly unsatisfying ending which I’m about to ruin for you.
The Nancy Meyers-directed film, which hit theatres in 2006, sees two women who are both going through a Big Personal Crisis swap homes for the Christmas holidays. Amanda (Cameron Diaz), trades her glamorous Hollywood mansion to stay in a wholesome English cottage, which belongs to Iris (Kate Winslet). Iris, who writes the wedding column for a London newspaper, packs her bags to California.
Now, sorry to Kate Winslet and all, but I don’t really care about her story quite so much. (NOTE: Since I first wrote this piece, I’ve revised my feelings: I love Kate Winslet’s story of moving on from toxic ass-face Jasper and her friendship with the old screenwriter, but I do not care about her dating Jack Black. Not buying it. Zero chemistry.)
I care about this woman:
And the man she immediately starts boning once she gets to England, who happens to be Iris’s brother Graham (Jude Law):
OBVIOUSLY, these two get on a one-way train to bone town, because look at them both. My god. They begin to fall in love, but HERE’S THE CATCH: Graham is a widow, and has two beautiful little girls, and the main issue here is that Graham cannot move to Hollywood to be with Amanda. And Amanda, being the driven career woman that she is, refuses to leave her work behind.
The result? Conflict.
Cut to the end of the movie (a lot of stuff happens, blah blah blah). The Holiday resolves the Amanda / Graham conflict by…. getting Amanda to stay in the UK until New Year’s Eve. She literally bolts from the taxi, runs through the snow, bands on Graham’s door and says she’ll stay… until New Year’s Eve.
And then the movie ends with a delightful NYE party with everyone – Graham, his two daughters, Amanda, Iris and Jack Black’s character Miles, who is irrelevant to this story, sorry – returning to the UK for a party.
And then it just ends.
Sorry, Nancy Meyers. You’ve done some good shit, but THAT IS NOT AN ENDING.
What did Amanda and Grahame do afterwards, huh? Did they break up again? Were there tears? What the shit happened in January, when Amanda had to return to California? What bloody then?
The logic of the movie would indicate that despite the appeal of Jude Law in a turtleneck sweater, Amanda is too tied up in her work in LA. Therefore, once the movie ends, she takes her NYE-induced hangover back to the United States, and she and Graham break up. Again.
Here’s how I get through this depressing reality:
In my head, Amanda realises she could easily work in the UK, because of its thriving film industry and all that jazz. She moves in with Graham, they have lots of sex, probably make a baby, and live happily ever after.
(If you insist, here’s what I imagine for everyone else: Iris and Miles realise the long-distance thing doesn’t work for them and remain friends instead. Iris becomes a best-selling author, while that other slimy fuck, Jasper, played by a deliciously handsome Rufus Sewell, can’t even get his book published. Also, his new fiancee realises he’s a tool and leaves him, and when his newspaper undergoes an inevitable restructure / pivot to video / huge corporate buyout, Jasper is booted from the building.)
It turns out Queen Nancy Meyers is on the same page as me. According to this 2015 article, she imagines a sequel where Amanda has moved to England to be with Graham, possibly in London, and they have kids. All I can say is: thank fucking god. Now please go make it happen.
FYI The Holiday is on Netflix right now. Add to your queue immediately.