The Holiday Movie Poster

Trivia for The Holiday

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  • This film was written specifically with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black in mind.
  • In the special features, Cameron Diaz claims this movie is her most physical due to all of the running she had to do.
  • Jude Law (Graham) has a real-life daughter named Iris. Graham's sister's (Kate Winslet's) name is Iris.
  • The interior sets for Amanda's house were built on a soundstage and cost approximately $1 million, without exterior walls, a roof, plumbing, heating and electricity.
  • Amanda mentions that she doesn't want "Scorsese-Red" for one of the movie trailers. Cameron Diaz was directed by Martin Scorsese in Gangs of New York (2002)
  • Amanda's stack of books on the plane to England are: "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, "Atonement" by Ian McEwan, "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling, "Bob Dylan Chronicles" by Bob Dylan, "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen, "Runaway" by Alice Munro, "The Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Journeys and Conversations" by The Dalai Lama and Chan Victor.
  • This movie was mentioned specifically in e-mails between South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and his mistress as very close to their situation.
  • Several references to Ennio Morricone: The movie's main theme starts with the same five chords as "Deborah's theme" from Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Miles urges Iris to rent The Mission (1986) because of its score, and the main theme of Cinema Paradiso (1988) plays on Miles' car stereo the first time he and Iris meet (he even tells her that it was composed by Ennio Morricone). Also, Eli Wallach starred in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), one of the most famous films for which Morricone composed.
  • Kate Winslet and Rufus Sewell had previously been in a real-life romance.
  • Writer and director Nancy Meyers stated in the commentary that she bases elements in her movies off of real-life events that she's experienced, for example the esophageal spasms that Amanda (Cameron Diaz) has is something Meyers used to experience.
  • When Iris is watching a movie in Amanda's house, the movie she is watching is His Girl Friday (1940).
  • Within Hollywood, writer and director Nancy Meyers is known for doing a rather large number of re-takes for any given scene segment, and during the shooting for this movie, at the end of a large number of re-takes for one particular segment of the newspaper Christmas party scene, Kate Winslet aroused a good-natured laugh from everyone on-set when, after the end of what she felt was a particularly good take following another long series of takes, she dropped to her knees in front of a table, clasped her hands together on the tabletop, and began to pantomime a prayer for that to be the last take of the segment.
  • The website Amanda and Iris use to exchange houses is a real website,
  • At one point, Arthur (Eli Wallach) claims that Cary Grant is from Surrey, and Iris (Kate Winslet) agrees. This is in fact a mistake, as Grant was from Bristol.
  • The film includes a (fake) trailer for a movie starring James Franco and Lindsay Lohan opening on Christmas Day.
  • Reportedly, the three members of British indie rock band The Wombats went to see this movie, expecting a rom-com in the spirit of Bridget Jones's Diary (2001). They ended up hating the film so much, that they wrote the song "Kill the Director" about it, which contains lyrics like "If this is a rom-com, kill the director" and "This is no Bridget Jones!"
  • The house used for Arthur Abbot's (Eli Wallach's) house belonged to actress Phyllis Diller at the time of shooting, and is located in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, California.
  • Upon arriving at Amanda's (Cameron Diaz's) Los Angeles home, Iris (Kate Winslet's) runs around excitedly and eventually finds a wall of DVD cases. She scans through them and selects one. Pulling it the shelf and opening it. She's interrupted by Miles (Jack Black) at the gate. The movie she selected was Punch-Drunk Love (2002).
  • Iris' (Kate Winslet's) tiny cottage is contrasted to Amanda's (Cameron Diaz's) stunning house, but in reality, thanks to UK property prices, an unspoiled cottage like that in a good location could easily be worth £1 million, not far off $2 million.
  • Edward Burns, who plays Ethan, Amanda's ex, directed Cameron Diaz in She's the One (1996).
  • The car that Cameron Diaz drives in Surrey is a 2006 Mini-Cooper. Kate Winslet in Los Angeles drives a Lexus RX 400h. Jude Law drives a 2006 Range Rover.
  • One of the books featured in Graham's (Jude Law's) library in his home is John Irving's "The Hotel New Hampshire (1984)".
  • Jasper (Rufus Sewell) asks Iris (Kate Winslet) if she wants to sneak away to Venice when she gets back to London. Sewell starred in Dangerous Beauty (1998), which was also set in Venice.
  • Rufus Sewell and Shannyn Sossamon appeared in A Knight's Tale (2001).
  • Jude Law and Kate Winslet appeared in All the King's Men (2006) and Contagion (2011).
  • When Miles (Jack Black) is humming movie scores to Iris (Kate Winslet) in Blockbuster Video, he does Hans Zimmer's score from Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Hans Zimmer did the score for this movie.
  • There is a scene in the film in which Cameron Diaz and Jude Law are chasing one another in a field after having lunch, which features a bossa nova-style piece from the musical score. Writer and director Nancy Meyers was so intent on having this scene in the film as a tribute to similar scenes featured in the films of Rock Hudson and Doris Day. Meyers was so intent on having the right music for the scene that composer Hans Zimmer actually named the piece "For Nancy".
  • When Miles (Jack Black) tells Iris (Kate Winslet) that Simon & Garfunkel composed an original score for The Graduate (1967), he is partially correct. Paul Simon wrote new songs for the film, many of which, like "Mrs. Robinson" and "At the Zoo", were recorded on the Simon & Garfunkel album "Bookends". But Mike Nichols, director of The Graduate (1967), didn't use any of Simon's new songs except the wordless "dee-dee-dee" chorus from "Mrs. Robinson". Instead, he used mostly older Simon & Garfunkel songs like "The Sound of Silence" and "Scarborough Fair".
  • The example Arthur (Eli Wallach) uses to explain a "Meet Cute" was used in Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938). Strangers Claudette Colbert and Gary Cooper meet while shopping. She buys the bottoms and he buys the top of the same pair of pajamas.
  • A few months after the movie came out the popularity of "house swapping" was on the rise. So much so in fact that police in England had to issue a warning against swapping homes with strangers due to identity fraud and murders.
  • When Amanda (Cameron Diaz) arrives at the cottage in England she then drives into the village and says "I need a drink." She's then seen walking around a shop drinking from a bottle of wine. It then shows her buying a corkscrew with the cork from the wine bottle attached.
  • Eli Wallach and Dustin Hoffman previously appeared together in The Tiger Makes Out (1967). Additionally, 'The Tiger Makes Out' was Hoffman's first feature film.
  • Miles comes to see Iris at Amanda's house and she says she's having a Hanukkah party. The four men who are at her table (Jack Black , Eli Wallach, Shelley Berman, and Bill Macy) are all Jewish.
  • When Arthur Abbot is out to dinner with Iris he asks why a beautiful girl like her is out to dinner with an "old cocker like him". This from the Yiddish phrase "alter cocker" meaning "old man".
  • When Iris (Kate Winslet) is looking around Amanda's home after her arrival, she stumbles upon a rather sizable collection of Sony Pictures' films. One of the films in Amanda's collection is a movie Kate Winslet co-starred in Enigma (2001).


  • On an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), Dustin Hoffman said that his cameo in the film was unplanned and not scripted. He was driving by the Blockbuster Video shown in the film and saw all of the cameras and equipment so he decided to stop in and see what was happening. Because he knew writer and director Nancy Meyers, they worked up a scene which ultimately made the final cut.
  • Iris and Amanda do not meet until the end of the movie.
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