The Holiday

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
The Holiday Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Women swap homes in festive romcom; language, sex.
  • PG-13
  • 2006
  • 138 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 24 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Romantic comedy features silly and sad situations (cheating partners, recollections of missing parents) in order to motivate the eventual appropriate coupling.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No real positive role models.


Amanda's movie trailer features explosions and stunts (very brief); Amanda punches Ethan, knocking him to the ground; Amanda hits her head on the cottage stair.


Several instances of kissing and embracing (twice in bed, though no nudity); two drunken sexual encounters -- characters drink together and discuss what happened later; two men admit cheating on their partners; discussions of "foreplay."


Language includes one "f--k" and one near "f--k" (it's obvious what she's saying, though the word ends before the "k"); sexual slang ("shagging," "boob"); at least one of each of these: "s--t," "piss," "ass," "bitch," "hell," "codger," "schmuck."


Sony Vaio laptop, Audi , Lexus, Pepcid, Google.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drunkenness used as means to sexual liaisons; drinking in social situations (parties) as well as to assuage heartache; liquor, wine, sake, and beer; cigarette smoking; reference to valium.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this romcom will probably appeal to teens, who could get mixed messages from some of the characters' behavior. Several scenes focus on drinking and drunkenness; two of them lead to sexual encounters. This unsafe behavior is presented as cute comedy. Plus, a single father suggests that he sometimes gets drunk to "compartmentalize" his life and deal with his sadness over his lost wife and the pressures of being a fulltime dad. Characters frequently get emotional. A woman punches her cheating boyfriend so hard that he falls to the ground. A couple of "f--k"s and other minor language.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymisslizzie April 9, 2008

I wasted my life. . . . .

This movie pushed the limit with PG 13 with sooooooo much sex. So unless you want to have to explain some things to your children, don't take them to see t... Continue reading
Adult Written byRabmo December 25, 2019
Teen, 15 years old Written byLiviLux01 April 10, 2015

Love this movie: Such a Chick Flick

This movie is so cute! I really enjoyed it even though I don't like rom-com's. Really great actors! Recommend!
Teen, 14 years old Written bysonofsuperman07 May 6, 2021

pretty good rom-com

Good christmas movie with alot of substance. a great family movie with older kids. sex is a pretty big theme throughout the movie and 1 F-bomb.

What's the story?

Trying to forget a romance gone wrong, London-based journalist Iris (Kate Winslet) trades her cottage for movie-trailer-editor Amanda's (Cameron Diaz) Beverly Hills mansion. Amanda is also angry at an ex-boyfriend. Book editor Graham (Jude Law) shows up drunk on the English cottage porch, expecting to be put up by his sister (Iris). He winds up having sex with lonely, angry, and perfectly witty Amanda instead. In L.A., Iris is charmed by her retired screenwriter neighbor (Eli Wallach), but soon finds her age-appropriate mate in composer Miles (Jack Black), who's grappling with his own relationship troubles, but seems instantly attracted to Iris as well.

Is it any good?

Seasonal and sweet, THE HOLIDAY offers precious few surprises. Like almost every romantic comedy, it introduces the to-be-coupled characters, sets a couple of emotional obstacles in their paths, until at last -- 138 minutes later -- they realize what you've known all along.

While Black is plainly still too much in love with himself, he does bring a welcome energy to his role. Writer-director Nancy Meyers has developed a kind of shtick in which beautiful, wealthy, well-dressed characters articulate recognizable but abstract clichéd "issues" as substitutes for more compelling details or developments. Since such issues are easily fixed (or deflected) by the proper partner in movies, the plots tend to just go through the motions. The movie's one surprise may be that by the end, even Winslet, so consistently lovely and frankly brilliant, looks as stifled as Iris.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of swapping houses, lives, or situations, which is increasingly popular in the age of reality TV and the Internet. Who would you want to switch with? Where might you like to spend two weeks? 

  • What's the appeal of romcoms? Does it bother you if the story is predictable? Why or why not?

  • How does this compare to other romantic comedies you've seen?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love rom-coms

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