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So I caved. It’s utterly predictable, and I can’t stand Cameron Diaz (I mean, really can’t stand), not to mention Jack Black, who is about as un-McDreamy as you can get in a guy lead. But due to the slim pickings in the romantic comedy department this year, I just went to see “The Holiday.”

In the end, it proved a tolerable movie-going experience. There was romance. Jack Black’s normal off-the-charts wackiness is toned down enough so that it doesn’t feel utterly upsetting when it becomes obvious that Kate Winslet’s Iris likes him. Cameron Diaz’s Amanda manages to avoid any extended dance routines (notice I said, extended: she does do some short ones), and so I suppose it was OK she gets the British hottie.

In my perfect world, however, Iris should have been paired up with sexy Jude Law’s Graham (I happen to think Winslet is quite a good actress), since the ever-annoying Amanda would have made a perfect match for the equally un-winning Jack Black’s Miles. Unfortunately, however, Graham and Iris are siblings in this film, so togetherness in the romantic sense would have proven just icky for all involved.

As far as “Holiday” cheer went: The film goes out of its way to give a nod to both Judaism and Christianity. Iris throws a Hanukkah party for her elderly Jewish neighbor and his friends, and then both happy couples celebrate a good old fashioned Christmas across the pond back in Britain. Huzzah!

So why go see this movie if it’s so obviously mediocre? Because Hollywood (at least so far) seems to have forgotten that people like to be cheery around the holiday season. Though these may indeed turn out to be fantastic, important films, “Blood Diamond” and “Apocalypto” are not exactly movies to put one in the holiday spirit. Where are the “Love Actually” equivalents this year?

Though decidedly not a romantic comedy, I am hanging my hopes on the new version of the beloved E.B. White classic “Charlotte’s Web” that releases this weekend. But I plan on bringing an entire box of tissues.

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