Hollywood is in the habit of using itself as subject matter for its own movies. How novel it is to see the role of entertainment marketing on the screen.

The Holiday is actually a sweet little romance. The story logic dictates that the Cameron Diaz character be a person of considerable means; but for some reason Writer/Director Nancy Meyers decided that the role of Hollywood Trailer Producer would fit the bill. Talk about the dream factory!

In 2002, the trailer to Jerry Seinfeld’s The Comedian let audiences glimpse a Monty-Python style parody of a Hollywood trailer voiceover recording session. In doing so, cementing the “in a world” cliché. There’s a strong steal of that joke for this movie.

Diaz’s character Amanda does hear the voice of Hal Douglas in her head; as if she is the star of her own movie… well, her own movie trailer. But, not much is made of the joke beyond that.

[SIDEBAR: That wouldn’t happen until 2013 with Lake Bell’s In A World.]

Look, for all I know there is an actual mega-rich trailer maker who this character is based on; and if so, best of luck to them… but I have to admit Amanda really got under my skin.

I don’t begrudge her mansion-sized adobe hacienda. I don’t begrudge that she’s got as much spare time to deck her ex-boyfriends as she does for her live-in editor and line producer, who seem to be doing all the actual work.  Yes, that’s Kathryn Hahn and John Krasinski––no doubt appearing at the advice of their agents––wasting their respective talents.

What really sticks in my craw is the arbitrary and bullshitty tweaks that Amanda makes to the final cut of the (very hammy) trailer base:

“Go back to the original edit at the end”;
“Make the logo bigger”, and;
“Change it to a happy red”.

My forehead went happy red from slapping it. Could this movie be slyly parodying real-world client feedback? I had to rewind and watch this scene several times. Yes. No. Maybe. When Krasinski says: “That’s why you get paid the big bucks” was that a knowing wink? Or genuine respect?

After a lie down, I realised what my problem is. People could use this movie as some kind of real-world job description. Someone will watch this movie and think to themselves: “That’s my kinda job!”

Or, maybe they will find themselves thrust into the position of being somebody’s client one day. And not knowing what a client should actually do, or how they should behave; will reach in to their unconscious and drag out “make the logo bigger”.

Oh, believe me… it happens all the time.

Posted by Charley Holland

Charley Holland is a copywriter, creative, communicator type.

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