RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... The Holiday

Special guest and Rare Beasts writer-director Billie Piper takes on the grinches who called Nancy Meyers' modern yuletide classic an over-egged, Rotten Christmas mess.

by | August 26, 2021 | Comments

The Holiday

(Photo by ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

No podcast fans, your ears do not deceive you: It’s August, the country is sweltering, and we – like your local Cracker Barrel gift shop – are rolling out the Christmas things, with a brand-new episode devoted to Nancy Meyers’ house-swap rom-com, The Holiday.  

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Now, before you can say “But we haven’t even done pumpkin season yet!”, hear us out. The Holiday is an absolute Christmas cracker of a film and worthy of debate, any time of year: two rom-coms in one, with some of Hollywood’s most charming and beautiful people at the peaks of their powers, and enough real-estate porn to rival a 24-hour HGTV marathon.

Also, it was the film of choice for a very special podcast guest, but we will get to that in a minute.

If you are one of the rare movie lovers who doesn’t check in with the movie every December, here’s a quick refresher: LA-based movie trailer producer Amanda (Cameron Diaz) swaps her SoCal manse for the Surrey cottage of British journalist Iris (Kate Winslet), both women looking to get away from their day-to-day lives for a holiday. (OK, “vacation” for the Americans.) Each discovers a little something about themselves while away, as well as the potential loves of their lives in the form of Jude Law (for Amanda) and Jack Black (for Iris).

Oh, and Eli Wallach shows up to steal the entire movie as a Golden Age Hollywood screenwriter.

Sounds divine, right? Well, according to critics at the time of its 2006 release, it was a little too divine, with the schmaltz laid on too thickly and the story far too predictable. They slapped the film with a Rotten Tomatometer Score of 49%; fans, on the other land, have grown to love it, and its Audience Score stands at a very lovely 80% Fresh.

One such fan is British actor Billie Piper, who joins us for our latest episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong to stand up for The Holiday as well as to chat about her debut film as a writer and director, the very un-Holiday-like Rare Beasts, a savage comedy that some critics are calling a nervy and auspicious debut. Will she convince regular RT Is Wrong co-hosts and notorious grinches Mark Ellis and Jacqueline Coley that The Holiday deserves to be a Christmas classic?

Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”

Check out some more episodes of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong:

If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.

Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.

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