Although The Holiday isn't exactly a Christmas classic (it was released in 2006), it is still one of those films that we can't help but re-watch every holiday season. Not sure if it's because we can't resist an uplifting Christmas movie with a modern twist or we just can't get enough of Kate Winslet, but either way the film does a good job of getting us into the spirit of the season.
If you need a refresher, all you really need to know is that the movie tells the story of two women, Iris (Kate Winslet), and Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who swap homes during the holidays after breaking up with their boyfriends. The ladies fall in love with new men while on vacation, but they were soon hit with the reality that they'll have to return back home, one to the United Kingdom and the other to the United States.
It's been over 10 years since the movie was released, but I will spare you the extra details about the plot, because there's always someone who hasn't seen it yet. Instead, let's shift the focus to a new theory concerning the film's leading ladies that will blow your mind without spoiling the ending.
If you thought the film is charming and heartwarming, wait until you read about this dark fan theory, involving an alternative universe and dead spirits, that's been circling the internet.
In a recent story published on EW.com, writer Dana Schwartz suggested that The Holiday actually has a morbid plot twist that even the biggest fans may have never realized.
"This is a completely textual interpretation, more or less entirely counter to the unserious fun rom-com spirit with which The Holiday is presented," Schwartz writes as a disclaimer before launching into her interpretation of the movie.
According to Schwartz, Iris and Amanda are either dead or stuck in some sort of limbo for most of the movie. She believes that there are two moments in the movie which indicate that both Iris and Amanda are no longer alive.
The first occurs at the beginning of the film when Iris contemplates suicide by briefly inhaling fumes from her gas stove. She soon realized she was making a terrible mistake, and rushed to the window for some fresh air. That's also the moment the notification about Amanda's desire to switch homes came through.
The second took place earlier that day in Los Angeles, where Amanda was fighting with her boyfriend for cheating on her. As their quarrel intensified, she stopped and said, "I can't breathe."
Schwartz is convinced that those two scenes were important because they showed both women on death's doorstop at the same time. She argued that the opportunity for them to swap homes was the universe's way of giving them a second chance to resolve their unfinished business on this earth before they move on.
"What if these two women, thousands of miles and several time zones away, shuffled off their mortal coils at the same time, (Winslet's suicide attempt was in the evening, Diaz's terrible breakup ostensibly in the morning: considering one is in London and one is in California, these could be simultaneous) and their souls became entangled, presumably due to their complementing themes?" Schwartz wrote.
She continued, "Both Iris and Amanda have unfinished emotional business to resolve, and so the fates have ordained that they get a bit of time, a holiday, if you will, to sort themselves out before they're able to move on."
Schwartz admits that this theory may be far-fetched, but all things considered it does make a lot of sense. Also, Iris's senior friend, Arthur Abott, was clearly knocking on death's door, so perhaps they're all stuck in limbo together while they work towards finding inner peace before crossing over.
If you still don't buy Schwartz's theory perhaps it's time to watch the movie again, you've got a few days until Christmas.