Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
This melding of comedic minds is one of the better holiday gifts we've received, cinematically speaking.
Winslet, who's never done a Hollywood romantic comedy before, turns out to be a natural, blushing prettily and smiling so broadly the camera seems ready to embrace her.
You wonder if [director] Meyers was so focused on establishing her main characters as frustrated, lonely and wanting that she forgot about the 'interesting' part.
It can also be undeniably charming, so you may as well just check your cynicism at the door and surrender.
The problem is that happy endings this strident and overextended begin to seem somewhat desperate.
There's nothing authentic or personal about The Holiday -- it's as chilling as heart-warmers get.
Los Angeles Times:
Like a magic trick in reverse, The Holiday reveals the mechanics of the formula while trying to keep up the illusion.
Obviously intended as a romantic throwback to the good old days of Hollywood, The Holiday instead comes off as a self-indulgent, insipid piece of seasonal trash.
By the time The Holiday entered its final stretch, I was wishing I could perform a house swap on this whole movie and settle down in the comfy environs of The Philadelphia Story instead.
The actors, pros one and all, operate in some weird, bubbly dimension that is someone's notion of how people behave in romantic comedies.
The movie, which runs two hours-plus, has its highs and lulls, but the charismatic cast offsets flawed storytelling.
Any holiday movie with a dollop of sweetness and a touch of wistful deserves a little slack at this time of year. This one is pleasant enough, but The Holiday won't be one you'll remember after the eggnog has worn off.
Sloppy writing, an overindulgent editor, and poor casting have taken an intriguing premise and transformed it into an uneven mess.
Meyers' movies would be far less offensive if they were simply shiny, shallow entertainments. But they always read like pronouncements, monitor readings of how 'real' women think and feel.
The characters pace and putter around in the story like animals building their nests, and by the time they finally settle down with their mates, we have a grudging affection for them.
Globe and Mail:
The Holiday, like the holidays, will require some girding up, and is best met halfway with a self-immunizing smile.
...It's the women who come out the worst in Meyers's sexist worldview, where men are hopeless and women are helpless.
If you're willing to embrace a bit of corniness for the sake of some incisive humor, a few poignant moments and enjoyable scenarios, make time for The Holiday.
Lusciously crafted at every level, from Dean Cundey's flattering cinematography to the even more flattering selection of L.A. and U.K. locations.
This overproduced romantic comedy doesn't even qualify as fluff; it's flat, featureless plastic.