The Holiday is a straightforward, feel-good romantic comedy about two upper-class white women falling in love (though tragically not with each other) and recognizing their self-worth. It is an underrated holiday classic with a surprisingly compatible cast that manages to make Jack Black a charming romantic lead and lets Kate Winslet dance around in a mansion in California to escape a trash guy who doesn’t value her. It’s a sugary-sweet and uplifting holiday pick with a few unexpectedly powerful, poignant moments.
At least, it was until Entertainment Weekly writer Dana Schwartz penned an op-ed ruining the holidays forever.
Schwartz proposes that both Iris and Amanda are actually dead, and are in a state of limbo trying to resolve the regrets in their lives, alongside the man who I fervently wish was my grandfather, Arthur Abbott. She poses that when Iris turns her gas stove on, considering taking her life, and Amanda has a panic attack and can’t breathe, both actually die.
While I by no means accept this fan theory, mostly for the sake of my mental health, it is intriguing: if this logic follows, Cameron Diaz’s character would move on to the afterlife once she is finally able to cry, and Kate Winslet’s character would move on once she is able to gather the gumption to send her ex-lover packing.
Of course, this is not what Nancy Meyers intended when she made the idyllic film, and our time would likely be better spent mulling over what exactly Cameron Diaz’s salary is that allows her that L.A. mansion and how she and Jude Law would ever make it work with lives across the world from one another.
Regardless of whether you buy this dark theory or not, I think we can all agree that there needs to be a fierce, girl-power sequel with Iris and Amanda focusing on their budding friendship and how it fortifies them to keep going.