Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Women's Need for Solitude: as presented in The Holiday

The recent film, The Holiday, strongly proposes the idea that no one wants to be alone, even when they think they do.

Both Kate Winslet's and Cameron Diaz's character (Iris and Amanda), both decide that they can't be around people any longer and seek out the opportunity to be alone. Yet as soon as they are alone, they also instantly are incapable of being alone. Amanda (Diaz) instantly is ready to fly home out of loneliness/boredom, and only changes her mind because of a physical relationship with Graham (Jude Law). Iris (Winslet) handles alone time much better, but instantly is willing to connect with old relations, as well as is very willing to make new friends (a decorated screenwriter and a film composer).

Allison post "Being Alone" on Explorations talked about the film/literary concept that "alone time is pretty much the panacea for all spiritual ills." She mentions some various books and films, Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, The Hours by Michael Cunningham, and To Room 19 by Doris Lessing. To these books, I will also add The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Yet Allison says that many of these books take female solitude too far.

I think that's what I appreciate about The Holiday. Although these women in the film found temporary respite from their ills and woes in film, Nancy Meyers also shows that these women (and the men they encounter) are not cut out for long term solitude, but rather have a deep need for meaningful relationships with others.

In light of my recent post ("I am a Lonely Soul") I actually agree with this principle. Normally, I am turned off by the concepts presented in Romantic-Comedies, and while there are some idyllic situations and contrived moments, I found the Holiday's presentation of solitude/companionship intriguing.

God made Eve because he said it was not God for man to be alone, but I wonder if Eve ever wanted some time to herself?


Kimberly Ann said...

I loved this movie! I had medium-low expectations, but it was terribly charming.

Paula said...

Yes. Eve did want some time alone. Wouldn't you if your spouse blew the whistle on you to the very Creator of the Universe?

I'm amazed they had any kids at all!