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11 Jun 2009


I watched 'The Holiday' a couple of nights ago... again. A nice movie where 2 women, with guy problems, swap homes for a holiday and meet the love of their lives. Throw in a bunch of cute guys and the movie is quite a treat! The guy who Cameron Diaz (Amanda Woods) falls in love with is awful cute. You feel like grabbing Diaz out of the frame and taking her place every time he comes on screen - Jude Law aka Graham Simpkins!

Let me not get started on Graham. This blog is not about him (I want to watch the movie again!!!). Nope, this one is for Jasper Bloom (Rufus Sewell), Kate Winslet's ex in the movie. Jasper has very little physical presence in the movie but plays a striking role in Iris Simpkins' (Winslet) story.

"Square peg, round hole" is what Jasper says to Iris, explaining why their relationship can't work. While he is engaged to someone else, Iris has just swapped homes with Amanda in a desperate attempt to nurse her broken heart. Slowly but surely, she's gaining control of her life and picking up the pieces with the help of all her new friends in NY... and forgetting Jasper for all he's worth. Whereas the affair is long dead, Jasper continues to stay in touch with Iris 'as a friend' and she sees no way to ward him off. Until, her new life teaches her "gumption". She finds a way out of her past and begins to enjoy the new seasons in her present.

One day, Jasper lands at Amanda's home to meet Iris. He claims that he misses her, cares about her and her not staying in touch is driving him crazy. Iris believes that he's "coming back" to her and does not know what to do. A very normal reaction, considering what's been. Imagine her horror when she finds out that he's still engaged to his fiancé! He has left her, gotten engaged to someone else and will not break the engagement... but he will not let go of Iris or let her move on! He expects Iris to stay, as a pushover that she's always been with him, while he has nothing to offer to her.

The old Iris might have been shattered, not known what to do. The new Iris deals with him with just two words - "Get out". Then she gets ready to attend the function where her neighbour-friend is being honoured for his lifetime achievements in Hollywood. She goes on to find happiness with Miles (Jack Black) and her tale ends with a happily ever after!

There are men like Jasper and women like Iris all around us. Unfortunately, the story does not end happily for everyone like it did for Iris. That Jasper ended up losing her is a good thing but all real stories do not end that way either. It was probably easier for Iris because she had met Miles by then. What would have happened if she went back to England, alone as she was, when she swapped homes with Amanda and came to NY? What would have happened if she had not met the dear old script writer Arthur Abbot (Eli Wallach) - her temporary neighbour - who helped her bloom into the strong woman that she always was but never knew? It's anybody's guess!

Among the two, Iris' story touched my heart more than Amanda's did, in spite of the various emotional angles in that one too. Amanda's story touched me too, but in a very different way... I fell in love with Graham around the same time she did! A lovely fairy tale, a movie I can watch a hundred times and still have tears in my eyes all along!


  1. Arthur Abbott: 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.

    Graham: I'm a full-time dad. I'm a working parent. I'm a mother and a father. I'm a guy who reads parenting books and cookbooks before I go to sleep. I spend my weekends buying tutus. I'm learning to sew. I'm Mr. Napkin Head!

  2. Miles: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to kiss you twice and then linger on the second one.

    Amanda: You know Graham, I just broke up with someone and considering you just showed up and you're insanely good-looking and probably won't remember me anyway... I'm thinking we should have sex... If you want.
    Graham: Is that a trick question?

  3. Jasper: You know what I was thinking? When you get back to London, maybe we could sneak off somewhere together. Maybe Venice. You and me in Venice could be good.
    Iris: Do you mean that? I mean, are you free to do that?
    Jasper: Darling, I've just traveled halfway across the world to see you, haven't I?
    Iris: [Iris & Jasper almost kiss before Iris pulls away] Yeah, that doesn't exactly answer my question. So, are you not with Sarah anymore? I mean, is that what you've come here to tell me?
    Jasper: I wish you could just accept knowing how confused I am about all this.
    Iris: Okay, let me translate that. So, you are still engaged to be married?
    Jasper: Yes, but, I mean...
    Iris: Oh, my God.
    [Iris gets up from the couch]
    Iris: This was a really close call. You know, I never really though I'd say this, literally never, but I think you were absolutely right about us. Very square peg, very round hole.

  4. Jasper: You cannot mean that.
    Iris: The great thing is I actually do. And I'm about three years late in telling you this, but nevertheless I need to say it. Jasper. Wait, I need the lights on. Jasper, you have never treated me right. Ever.
    Jasper: Oh, babe.
    Iris: Shush. You broke my heart. And you acted like somehow it was my fault, my misunderstanding, and I was too in love with you to ever be mad at you, so I just punished myself! For years! But you waltzing in here on my lovely Christmas holiday, and telling me that you don't want to lose me whilst you're about to get MARRIED, somehow newly entitles me to say, it's over. This - This twisted, toxic THING between us, is finally finished! I'm miraculously done being in love with you! Ha! I've got a life to start living.
    [Picks up Jasper's jacket, walking to the door]
    Iris: And you're not going to be in it.
    Jasper: Darling.
    Iris: Now I've got somewhere really important to be, and you have got to get the hell out.
    [Opens the door]
    Iris: Now!
    Jasper: What exactly has got into you?
    Iris: I don't know.
    [Pushes Jasper out the door]
    Iris: But I think what I've got is something slightly resembling, gumption.
    [Slams door shut in Jasper's face. Lifts hands up and screams with joy]

  5. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457939/

  6. http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/blcoldmountainpicsa.htm