“If it’s corny, or if it’s going to ruin your outfit, you don’t have to wear it.”
“I like corny. I’m looking for corny in my life.”
Maybe it’s the higher threshold for cheese thing that comes with the time of year – but it’s not like I’d ever have watched this at any other time, so we’ll never know – but though there are so many things wrong with this movie, not least the Cameron Diaz side of the story (though Jude Law and his two girls eventually brighten it no end, I still need to ask – was this movie made by two entirely different film makers each side of the Atlantic?), I don’t know if there was a moment here where I wasn’t either smiling, laughing or fighting back tears.
I honestly thought I would absolutely hate this movie, not just from reviews I’d read but also from my general hatred of anything that overuses male/female stereotypes (I know, I know – but we’ve all got our hang-ups, and that’s mine). I started the movie almost already annoyed, particularly when I saw the running time of 2 hours 15. But it was somewhere during Kate Winslet’s little crying session following Rufus Sewell’s “dumping” of her, my attention started to veer more towards the screen, and within about 10 minutes, I could barely look away.
It reminded me of the novel I picked up on a whim a few years ago and fell completely in love with, Robyn Sisman’s Weekend in Paris – Kate Winslet’s character is so much like Molly there I kept thinking the only thing that would’ve made the movie better would’ve been if they’d scrapped the Diaz side completely and just done that adaptation, lol. Rufus Sewell is fantastic as a guy who basically amounts to her little trap in life. She can’t look at him without falling in love again, but though he’ll cross an ocean to surprise her, he’s beyond loathsome in the way he always lets her down. Winslet’s final “gumption” scene resonated with me on a level that surprised me.
The movie is all about surprises – people surprising themselves and each other, sometimes pleasant surprises, sometimes not so pleasant. That’s life. Hans Zimmer’s score is very catchy, even integrating with Jack Black’s composer character quite beautifully at times (incidentally, I really didn’t think I’d be so impressed by Black as I was here – his irrepressible self slips in sometimes, but more often than not he’s downright dapper), and the Eli Wallach subplot is a little classy icing on a very Christmassy treat, one of my biggest movie surprises of the year to be honest