"Uh, excuse us, there's a fatal flaw in The Holiday and it took 11 years to notice."


It turns out there’s huge freaking plot hole in The Holiday and we’ve only just noticed it 11 years later.

As pointed out by Claire Hodgson at Cosmopolitan (you can read her analysis here) the timeline makes absolutely no sense.

In the first scene Iris (Kate Winslet) is finishing up work on 22 December. But then the movie goes on for what feels like approximately 68.25 days before we finally get to Christmas Day.

It kind of feels like Christmas (and Kate Winslet) may have been lying to us all this time.

Listen: Clare Stephens and Laura Brodnik discuss all the shows that will and won’t be returning in 2018. (Post continues after audio…)

Here’s a break down the timeline (or lack thereof) for you:

Friday 22 Dec

On Friday 22 Dec, Iris gets an email from her boss announcing that they’re officially closed for Christmas.

First of all, this is would never actually happen as Iris works at a major newspaper and media companies pretty much never shut down for the holiday period (I should know – I’m writing this on the 23rd of December while y’all are having cocktails on the beach or something).

Secondly, if it’s really 22 Dec how does Iris achieve so much personal growth before Christmas Day?

Adding to the general confusion, over in LA on the 22 Dec, Amanda is working on a trailer for a movie that comes out on Christmas Day.

Erm… this is not a thing. In real life that trailer would have been made months beforehand, so is it really 22 Dec?

Saturday 23 Dec

On Saturday 23 Dec, Iris and Amanda officially swap houses. Keeping in mind this is a romantic comedy, this timeline still seems a lil’ bit far-fetched.

I mean, how did they have enough clean undies to just jump on a plane the next morning?

Later that night, at 1am, a drunken Graham AKA Jude Law, turns up on Amanda’s doorstep.

So they officially meet just two days before Christmas.

Sunday 24 Dec

The girls wake up in their new respective houses and wait… it’s not Christmas Eve yet because the writers have just realised they have a heck of a lot to fit into the movie before the big climax.

This is where things get a wee bit confusing…


Graham stays over that night. The next day, Amanda gets confused about her feelings and heads to airport before deciding to meet Graham for a drink instead.

He stays over again and they have the sexy time.

The day after ?????

Graham and Amanda go on a day date, they have tea in a country house, frolic in the snow etc.

Things are going swell until Amanda announces that things are going too fast.

“Graham, l’m leaving in nine days. And that makes this complicated. And l’m not sure I can handle complicated right now,” she says.

Which makes no bloody sense because a minute ago it was 24 Dec and she had already announced that she was not staying until New Years Eve so this has to be 21 Dec at the latest?

Bloody hell Iris, who’s running the newspaper?


Anyhoo, let’s not let facts get in the way of a good Christmas movie.

Over in LA, Iris is throwing a Hanukkah party. The official dates for Hanukkah change every year but it’s usually around mid-December.

But it’s already December 24, I hear you scream.

I know, I know. I’m confused too.

Later that night Amanda realises she made a huge mistake breaking up with Graham, the man she’s known for either one day or 3843874 days, depending on how you choose to interpret the timeline.

She hotfoots it over to Graham’s house, there she finds out that he’s a widow and meets his adorable kids. BE STILL OUR BEATING HEARTS.

Listen: Wolf Creek season two and everything else you need to be watching this week. (Post continues after audio…)

Friday 22 Dec (AGAIN)

OK… we’re back to Friday 22 Dec… or are we?

This is the scene where Iris goes around to Arthur’s house to persuade him to do his “An evening with…” event.

Then Miles (Jack Black) calls Iris and asks her what she’s up to on Christmas Eve.

Is this Christmas Eve or is this 22 Dec… no one really bloody knows at this point.

An indiscriminate time later

This could be the same day or it could be a completely different year (who knows?) but Miles and Iris are at Blockbuster picking out some movies when Miles spots his girlfriend cheating on him.

They then return to Iris’s place and Miles says…

“I’m making you some fettuccine. It is Christmas Eve, and we are going to sit out on that patio… gonna make ourselves a little fire, pop some bubbly… and we are gonna celebrate being young and being alive. You with me, Simpkins?”

So this is definitely Christmas Eve… but also possibly not.

Over in the UK, Graham and Amanda have just had sex and they’re now talking about their future.

“Or maybe we should just… realise that what we’ve had these past few weeks has been perfect,” Amanda says and goddamn it woman, how long have you actually been in the country?

“Maybe the fact that l’m leaving in 8 hours..,” she adds and holy hell, are we even in the same year?

Sometime between Christmas and New Year’s Eve

Iris and Miles go to Arthur’s event.

Jasper (Iris’s unrequited love) turns up telling her that he’s left his fiance.

Also, Amanda is about to fly out of the country but then she remembers the whole Jude Law factor and runs back to him.

New Year’s Eve

Finally, we have a solid friggin’ date.

In the final scene everyone is together/lives happily ever after.

We know for sure it’s New Year’s Eve but we just have no flippin’ idea how we got here.

Look, at the end of the day, we have no definite answer as to whether the movie took course over 10 days or 4954 days… and that’s OK.

We still bloody love it.

To read more from Keryn Donnelly, follow her on Facebook.

H/T: Cosmopolitan

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