This year's Christmas-time romantic comedy is an exasperating dud. Iris (Kate Winslet) pines for Jasper (Rufus Sewell), a romantically unavailable co-worker, from the comfort of her cozy English countryside cottage, while Amanda (Cameron Diaz) expels her unfaithful beau Ethan (Edward Burns) from her palatial Beverly Hills mansion. The two women meet on the Internet and arrange a Christmastime house swap that finds Amanda offering her body up to Iris' smarmy brother Graham (Jude Law) on the first night in her modest temporary digs. Meanwhile, Iris splits her time between Arthur (Eli Wallach), a famous elderly screenwriter, and film composer Miles (Jack Black) who may or may not be on the outs with his girlfriend Maggie (Shannyn Sossamon). Dialogue hits the floor like frozen eggnog in writer/director Nancy Meyers' protracted exercise in cliché-mining.
Rated PG-13. 138 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)
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