There are very few movies I actually choose to watch during the holidays. More often than not, I’m forced to tune in because my family and friends get into the Christmas spirit much more than I do. My opinion of holiday music falls into the same category. I only listen when I am forced to or when my friends and family are blasting it. It’s in the last few hours of Christmas Eve that I find myself actually choosing to fill my head with all this cheer. Bah humbug.
This year for some reason, I sat down to watch my first Christmas movie much sooner than I thought I would. After I consumed enough turkey and canned cranberry sauce (my absolute favorite for some reason) to last me a mere three hours or so until I eventually grew hungry again, I curled up on the couch sandwiched between my cousin and my chocolate lab. It was time to watch The Holiday, the 2006 film starring Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, Kate Winslet, and Jude Law.
The movie tells the story of two women who decide to swap their L.A. and England-based homes to escape their respective love-life troubles during the holidays. It’s only through the swap that they both fall in love with men they meet during their stay.
This movie has become one of my favorites simply because of the film locations used. Many locations in California and England are places that I hope to travel to because of their appearance in the movie. I’ve been to England once before, but not to the quaint village of Shere in Surrey, England about an hour outside London. Likewise, I’ve never been to California, let alone the places seen in The Holiday. So after watching the film, I figured I would share my favorite locations seen in the movie in the hopes that you too will curl up to watch the chick flick. It’s the perfect film for someone looking to enjoy a holiday movie without drowning in too much cheer.
My Favorite Locations from The Holiday:
1. Amanda Woods’ Tuscan-style mansion in San Marino, California
The film opens up with shots of movie trailer producer Amanda Woods’ (Cameron Diaz) sprawling mansion as she fights with her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend. As the fight progresses, Amanda travels throughout the house, and we see just how well-off she is. Since I first saw this movie, I’ve dreamed of having Amanda’s career. It’s a job in the film industry with a California location. What could be better?
The actual home seen in the film was built in 1928 and is located at 1883 Orlando Road. Since the filming of the movie, additions have been made to mansion that include a new fountain in the front entrance and a wrought-iron gate instead of the wooden barrier featured in the movie.
2. Surrey, England
When I traveled to England in March, I only stayed within the city of London. I didn’t have the opportunity to experience the English countryside, especially the village of Shere featured in the movie. Shere has become a popular tourist location housing a museum, a tea shop, and a couple of pubs among other things. In the film, Amanda Woods and her new love interest (Jude Law) enjoy a night at the White Horse Tavern, a real-life pub that was once a 15th century farmhouse.
Iris’ Rosehill Cottage was actually built for the movie after the perfect setting of Shere had been found. But scenes of the village of Shere are real. There’s even a scene featuring Amanda running across a footbridge over the Tillingbourne stream that runs through the center of the village.
3. The Grill on the Alley – Beverly Hills, CA
Since this restaurant opened in 1984, it has become known as the Hollywood “power lunch” for the clientele it attracts. In the film, the grill acts as the dining place for Iris (Kate Winslet) and her newly-acquainted friend Arthur (Eli Wallach), a screenwriting legend.
The Grill’s menu features classic American items that include steaks, seafood, chicken pot pie, and meatloaf. It is a bit pricey, with the chicken pot pie being set at $23.75 and a New York steak being $45.75. However, this isn’t surprising when you consider the Hollywood faces that enter its doors.
4. Greystone Mansion – Beverly Hills, CA
About midway through the film, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law’s characters dine at a restaurant in the English countryside. The exterior shots were filmed in England while the interior dining scenes were filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, CA. Since it was built in 1928, the mansion has become a popular setting for many films and television shows that include The Gilmore Girls, The Social Network, and The Big Lebowski. The mansion also includes a park that is open daily to the public.
Special thanks to locationshub.com for the specific film locations of The Holiday.
- Cameron Diaz Switches Homes in The Holiday (movies.answers.com)
- Favorite Holiday Movies (folkloriat.com)
- Favorite Holiday Movies (folkloriat.com)