There's a movie called Déjà Vu in theatres and that could have been the working title for The Holiday as well. We have all been here before.
This is a romantic comedy filled with moments we recognize from other, mostly better, romantic comedies.
Remember when Harry and Sally were in the stereo store, with Sally giggling at Harry's karaoke antics and Harry having a grand time hamming it up -- until he spots his ex?
There's a parallel scene in The Holiday, with Jack Black in the Harry role and Kate Winslet as the Sally doppelganger.
Or how about the scene we've witnessed in dozens of movies, when the girl shows up at the guy's door unannounced and starts pouring her heart out, and the guy keeps furtively glancing over his shoulder and finally the girl says, "Oh my God, you're not alone, are you?" They've got that scene here -- with a sugar-coated twist.
How about the unexpected and very public announcement of an engagement, which sends our jilted heroine from the room in tears?
Or the suddenly single, apparently friendless and family-free single gal who plans to spend the holidays eating comfort food and watching old movies?
Or the teary drive to the airport that's cut short with the time-honored "Turn around, driver!" command, followed by the "Just stop the car!" plea, capped with the sprint through the snowy streets to the one true love?
You get all that and more in The Holiday.
This is a well-acted, thoroughly pleasant, quite competent and almost instantly forgettable Christmas film.
The Holiday is written and directed by Nancy Meyers, whose previous works include female-friendly comedies such as Baby Boom, Father Of The Bride, What Women Want and Something's Gotta Give.
I wouldn't go so far as to say Myers emasculates her leading men, but she did put Mel Gibson in pantyhose and turned Steve Martin into a blithering nincompoop.
Cameron Diaz plays Amanda, the owner of a Los Angeles company that makes all those trailers that make even dreck look exciting.
Not to engage in gender stereotyping, I can't imagine any man choosing to see this movie on his own, though millions of men will see it on date night.
They won't hate it, but they won't miss it when it's over.