I know we are way past this, but I have to say…I love Christmas!! To me it means time with my family, cold weather, fun cups at Starbucks, snazzy decorations, and movies…lots and lots of movies. One thing that I love to do around the holidays is watch my favorite Christmas movies. I won’t lie I categorize them into two list, an A list and a B list. The A list are the movies I have to watch or Christmas just won’t feel like Christmas. The B list are options for when I have already watched my top picks and I need a little more holiday spirit in my life.
A movie that had been on my B list forever was “The Holiday”. I know, I know. You’re probably saying, “what you don’t love The Holiday?! It’s a great movie, with great actors, and a fantastic story line”. But that’s just it, I thought it was a mediocre movie, with one (maybe two) good actors, and a story line that could and would only happen in the movies. Let’s be honest; how many people would actually house swap on a whim with someone they’ve never met before? And yes there may be pictures of the house online, but would you really trust pictures? I don’t think so…
So, back to my Christmas tradition. This year, I made it through my A list of Christmas movies pretty fast. I was going through a hard time and had been watching Christmas movies since before Thanksgiving. I was making my way through my B list of movies and decided to pop in The Holiday to give it another chance. The opening scene…you know the one I’m talking about…the one where Cameron Diaz is breaking up with her boyfriend and it’s probably the WORST acting you’ve ever seen in your entire life…this scene almost made me regret my decision. But I’m not a quitter so I continued to push through, and boy am I happy I did.
I got to the point in the movie where Kate Winslet is sitting on her couch talking to Jack Black. Jack Black has just discovered that his girlfriend has been cheating on him. Kate (yes we are on first name basis) goes into this monologue to offer encouragement. When I say I rewound the scene 10 times I am not exaggerating.
“I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn’t know you had inside you. And it doesn’t matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends… you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he’ll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you’ll go somewhere new. And you’ll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade.”
Aaaahhhh! Say whhaaatt?! How in the world does she know how I feel? How is it possible to roll my exact thoughts, feelings, experiences in one? Is it possible someone else in this world has experienced this pain?
And then this scene…
Jack Black: “Why am I attracted to a person I know isn’t good?”. To which Kate responds; “ Because you’re hoping you’re wrong. And every time she does something that tells you she’s no good, you ignore it. And every time she comes through and suprises you, she wins you over, and you lose that argument with yourself, that she’s not for you.”
Now replace the “she’s” with “he’s” and you got me. I previously mentioned that I was going through a hard time right? Well that hard time was a break up. Saying goodbye to a person I knew I shouldn’t be with and I was struggling. I liked him, he was nice, we had fun together, we had a good connection…but I knew deep down he was the wrong person, and I knew that I was only with him because I couldn’t be with the one guy I have ever loved. The one guy who didn’t want to be with me. I knew my relationship wasn’t healthy and I knew I had waited too long to say goodbye to both men. So one week before Thanksgiving I said goodbye to the guy I was dating, and goodbye to my first love. And then I started watching Christmas movies.
Is it weird to say that these two quotes changed me? Deep down at my very core changed me. They made me feel normal, made me feel that maybe someone else knew how I felt. Cheesy I know, but it’s true. Within two scenes The Holiday changed my perspective.
Listen, I’m not saying that I think The Holiday is now the best movie with the best actors and the best story line. No, in fact I still hold to my original thoughts. But for me, in December 2014, The Holiday was the best movie, with the best actors, and the best story line. And it was only the best, because it brought out the best in me.