The sounds of Arthur Abbott’s cheeky soundtrack and Jude Law banging on Cameron Diaz’s door in the middle night have become synonymous for many with Christmas itself, as The Holiday proves the perfect festive film each and every year.
The gentle plot involving heartbreak, a house-swap and newfound romance is easy and fun enough to follow even after a few mulled wines, and the promise of a happy ending makes it a film that people are happy to watch time and again come December.
But what if The Holiday was actually about ghosts?
Admittedly it might seem somewhat difficult to comprehend for fans who have spent the last 15 years wrapped up in the simple pleasures of the film, but fan Dana Schwartz delved into the theory in an article for Entertainment Weekly, with lots of evidence to back it up.
In The Holiday, viewers will no doubt remember the moment when Kate Winslet’s Iris sticks her head over her gas cooker and inhales deeply after suffering heartbreak at work, before coming to her senses and rushing to the window to get some fresh air.
Meanwhile, in LA, Cameron Diaz’s character Amanda suffers from chest pains and says she ‘can’t breathe’ while chasing her unfaithful boyfriend out of the house.
Though Winslet’s gas inhalation takes place in the evening and Diaz’s pains come in the morning, the time difference between London and California could indicate that these events happen at the same time.
The characters appear to then carry on with their lives and embark on a house-swap, but Schwartz suggests instead that they actually enter some sort of limbo, and their ‘souls became entangled, presumably due to their complementing themes?’
She continues: ‘Both Iris and Amanda have unfinished emotional business to resolve, and so the fates have ordained that they get a bit of time, a holiday, if you will, to sort themselves out before they’re able to move on.’
It’s certainly an interesting theory, but if you want to take things to an entirely new level of dark then look no further than the Reddit thread ‘Fan Theories’, where one user shared an idea they found in an article by Sarah Rees Brennan and explained it ‘makes this mediocre Christmas movie so much more entertaining.’
The theory suggests that rather than Law falling head over heels for the American woman staying in his sister’s house, it’s all a big plot in which Winslet and Law’s characters are planning to murder Diaz.
Law’s character, Graham, is already a widower when he meets his apparent love interest, but instead of a tragic, unpreventable loss, the theory suggests Graham ‘murdered his first wife so he could inherit her house.’
Now he and his sister have used the house swap scheme to get Cameron Diaz into their town while Kate Winslet can investigate and make sure Cameron has enough money and property (and no family/entanglements) to be worth the effort of seducing her and then disposing of her.
One piece of evidence to back up this theory is the undeniable joy of Winslet’s character when she sees how ‘grand and luxurious Cameron’s house is’, suggesting that this is ‘because she knows she and Jude have hit the jackpot.’
In the meantime, Graham sets about ‘accidentally’ meeting Amanda and getting ‘his claws into her’.
The Redditor adds: ‘Everything that follows is orchestrated to carry out their plot.’
As if that wasn’t upsetting enough, the fan adds another twist to the plot by suggesting Winslet’s character may have been planning to ‘seduce and marry the old screenwriter and wait for him to die and leave her his house/fortune’ before Jack Black’s character got involved.
Taking into account all of the hidden meanings and Easter Eggs that can be found in films I suppose we can’t dismiss these theories altogether, but I’m sure a lot of people will be with me when I say that I much prefer the happy rom-com version of The Holiday.
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