Nancy Meyers directs Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz and Eli Wallach in this festive romantic comedy where a Hollywood business woman and a London society journalist swap homes for the Christmas break hoping to mend broken hearts.
Nobody’s favourite cake is a mince pie but December rolls around and it seems sacrilegious to avoid them. Same with this hokey houseporn fluff. It is predictable, languorous and fails to sell Jack Black as a romantic lead through no fault of its own. Kate Winslet definitely gets the wooden spoon here in terms of prize blokes. So Meyers over compensates by adding a hundred extra scenes of Diaz and Jude Law’s more winning but drama-lite Blighty hook-up and giving Kate Winslet a better non-romantic pairing to spark off. Her segments with retired movie writer Eli Wallach have the magic you want – he’s a gem here (as always) and treats his top billed scenemate with the reverence and glamour she deserves. It is a warm, comfy film with zero surprises. Tasteful and expensive as the dream homes it takes place in but you wouldn’t want to touch anything for fear of going bankrupt. The only truly impressive thing is the sheer amount of accurate boozing that goes on in the U.K. half of the movie.
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