The Holiday (2006)

11 Lessons In Life And Love From ‘The Holiday’ That Still Hold Up

Ready to feel old? Everyone’s favorite Kate Winslet romantic comedy The Holiday turned 15 this year. It’s old enough to start learning how to drive! Even though it’s now aged into almost adulthood, the movie still holds up. Whether you’re itching for time away from an unrequited love or you’re having a hard time being vulnerable with men, this movie has it all. Also, if you want to watch this gem again, you can find it on Hulu.

Unrequited love isn’t worth the heartbreak.

The moment Iris’s heart breaks. / The Holiday

The movie opens with Kate Winslet’s Iris learning that the man she’s loved for years, Jasper Bloom, is getting married. It comes as a shock since he’s been stringing her along this whole time and has had every opportunity to let her know the news in private. This heartbreak is what spurs on the plot of the movie, convincing her to get out of England for the Christmas holiday. Although that decision works out well for her, you don’t have to go thousands of miles to deal with the same thing. Ultimately, unrequited love is pointless. The one for you will love you back. And if this person doesn’t? Clearly they have bad taste.

Sometimes you need a big life change to gain some new perspective.

Iris and Cameron Diaz’s Amanda are having a rough go-of-it, life-wise. Iris’s aforementioned unrequited love has her wishing for death. Amanda’s recent breakup from a serial cheater has left her feeling hopeless. Both try for something perhaps a little reckless: A house swap over the Christmas holiday. While you might not have the means for something so big, change is often the best way to get out of your rut. Hate your job? Quit. Dating a shitty guy? Break up with him. And if that isn’t enough to feel truly free, find a way to get as far away from home as you can for a while. The perspective switch does a world of good.

If you’re having guy trouble, find some man-free alone time.

You know that saying, right? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If what you’re doing when it comes to guys isn’t working, change something. In the case of The Holiday, Iris and Amanda give up on the idea entirely. Maybe focus on doing something for yourself, independent of men. At the least, you’ll be making yourself a priority. And, who knows, you might find the love of your life by accident anyway.

Ditch your worries and go with the flow.

Over-analyzers, raise your hands! Picking apart every minute detail of your life can feel like you have control, but that’s false. All it’s doing is keeping you from new experiences. So do as Iris and Amanda do and just go with the flow. You’ll open yourself up to all sorts of new experiences. Maybe you’ll end up propositioning Jude Law when he comes knocking on your door.

Greet your neighbors, because you might meet someone special.

Undeniably the best storyline of the movie has nothing to do with romantic love. When Iris is staying at Amanda’s house in LA, she sees one of her neighbors, a retired screenwriter named Arthur Abbott. Introducing herself to him spurs on the journey she needed to finally have some personal growth. Also, the old man is adorable. So introduce yourself to your neighbors. You never know who you might meet.

Forget about yourself for a minute and help someone else instead.

Newsflash: It isn’t always about you. Iris ends up volunteering to help Arthur get ready for a screenwriting tribute in his honor. She helps him exercise so he can get up a short flight of steps on his own. Leave space for others in your life–it’s great for the soul.

One for the guys: You look better with glasses on.

Always wear glasses, Jude Law. / The Holiday

At least that’s the case for Jude Law, who plays Iris’s brother Graham. After a night with Amanda, he’s lost his contacts and has to wear his glasses instead. Holy. Shit. If that one moment is any indication, a good pair of glasses will turn any hot guy even hotter.

Let yourself be vulnerable, because the right person won’t see this as a weakness.

One key thing that all the characters do in The Holiday is express their emotions and vulnerabilities. Iris reveals her terrible unrequited love of Jasper to Jack Black’s Miles. Miles in turn reveals how he never felt good enough for his ex. Amanda tells Graham about her parents divorce and how she can no longer cry. Graham finally reveals he’s a widower and single father. All of these things would be ill-received if they were speaking to the wrong people. But when you’re talking to someone who matters, who cares about you, they won’t see these things as weaknesses. Instead, your connection will only grow.

You need to get over the last person before you can find the one.

They had to wait until they were ready. / The Holiday

For a good example of how to move on from your last breakup, look toward Iris and Miles. Iris has the terrible Jasper thing. Miles needs to get over Maggie. Sure, Iris and Miles could have gotten together halfway through the movie rather than the very end. They clearly had chemistry. But they both needed to fully confront their obstacles and finally feel at peace with their past trauma before they could move on. While there’s advice out there that finding someone new can help you heal from a past breakup, it’s better to do that first so you can be fully open with your next love.

Just go for it, even if you’re so sure it won’t work out.

On the last day of Amanda’s time in England, she and Graham have a frank discussion about their future. They want to be together, but Amanda is so sure that it wouldn’t end well. She breaks up with him and heads for the airport. But she realizes that she can’t do it. That it’s worth the potential future heartbreak to have a chance with this guy who is clearly the one. You may feel like you know how things will end, but you don’t. May as well enjoy the journey!

You’re the leading lady, not the best friend.

I’m going to leave you with the single best quote of any movie. While Arthur Abbott says this to Iris, I’d like to think he’s saying it to all of us.

Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.

Arthur Abbot, The Holiday