Welcome to Cinema Sips: Holiday Version! During each week of December, I’ll be featuring a holiday-themed movie and festive accompanying cocktail. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, this should be an enjoyable time because there are some truly great holiday movies out there, and who doesn’t like an excuse to eat and drink more than usual? For my first choice, I went with a no-brainer: The Holiday. I think this is a great film to ease into the Christmas spirit because it’s not overtly about Christmas. It does take place during the end of December, but there aren’t any of mentions of Santa and his elves. Rather, this movie gets me excited for the main reason I enjoy Christmas- VACATION TIME!
The Holiday is really two movies in one. It follows Kate Winslet’s lovesick character Iris and Cameron Diaz’s jaded character Amanda as they trade houses with one another for the Christmas holidays. Iris journeys to Amanda’s gorgeous mansion in Los Angeles, and Amanda travels to Iris’ charming cottage in Surrey, England. I should have prefaced all of this by pointing out that this is a Nancy Meyers film, which means that the interior design of each of these homes is to-die-for (seriously, I want whoever designs these sets to come over and do my house). Iris and Amanda each find romance on their vacations with Jack Black and Jude Law, respectively, and they learn how to be happy again in their lives. It’s a truly enjoyable film, and really the only weak link in the bunch is Cameron Diaz. I would fast-forward through her scenes, if not for Jude Law (aka Mr. Napkin-Head), his adorable British children, and the gorgeous shots of Iris’ cottage that I want to go live in right now. For me, the heart of the movie rests with Kate Winslet, her hilarious and charming relationship with Jack Black, and the scroo-di-li-doo next door Arthur (played by Eli Wallach). When screenwriter Arthur tells her, “You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend,” it is so profound, and I want to scream at the television- Yes! Now get Cameron Diaz out of there and re-make this movie as Iris’ Holiday!
For my cocktail pairing, I’m using kind of an unusual ingredient I found in my local grocery store- Candy Cane Sparkling Water. I don’t know if I’ve missed this in years past or if it’s a new thing, but I thought why not try it out. As it happens, it’s AMAZING! For watching The Holiday, I recommend making a Peppermint Vodka Tonic.
Peppermint Vodka Tonic
2oz Candy Cane Sparkling Water (you can use club soda and peppermint extract if your store doesn’t have it)
Candy Cane for garnish
Pour liquid ingredients into a highball glass over ice. Garnish with the candy cane, and enjoy!
I like to drink a cocktail while I watch The Holiday and start getting excited for a two week break from work, and the inevitable traveling that goes with that. I’m lucky to have found my one true love already (and yes he does bear a striking resemblance looks and personality-wise to Jack Black’s character in this movie) so I get to focus on the fun stuff- reading books, eating junk food, watching movies, and laughing with friends. Even if you don’t have a long break from work or a trip planned, watch this movie, have a cocktail, and for 2 hours pretend that you do. Cheers!