NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS
A Holiday Treat With Cautions
Release Date: December 12, 2008
Starring: John Leguizamo, Freddy
Rodriguez, Debra Messing,
Alfred Molina, Elizabeth
Peña, Luis Guzmán, Vanessa
Ferlito, Jay Hernandez, and
Genre: Dramatic Comedy
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: Overture Films/Starz
Director: Alfredo De Villa
Executive Producer: Rene M. Rigal and Reid Brody
Producer: Robert Teitel and George
Writer: Rick Najera and Alison Swan
Address Comments To:Chris McGurk, CEO, Overture Films
Robert B. Clasen, Chairman/CEO, Starz, LLC
(Starz Entertainment, Overture Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment)
8900 Liberty Circle
Englewood, CO 80112
Phone: (720) 852-7700; Fax: (720) 852-8555
The movie opens with Jesse, a wounded vet from Iraq, coming home to his parents, who live on the south side of Chicago in a Hispanic neighborhood dominated by Puerto Ricans. Also coming home to visit are older brother, Mauricio, a lawyer, and his career-oriented executive wife, Sarah, as well as Jesse’s sister, Roxanna, a struggling actress working in Los Angeles.
Four major problems face the Rodriguez family. First, Sarah is not ready to become pregnant and satisfy her mother-in-law, Anna’s, desire for grandchildren. Second, Roxanna is considering giving up her lagging Hollywood career, and her dreams, to return to the comforts of her family in Chicago. Third, Jesse is not quite ready to take over his father, Eduardo’s, grocery business. Finally, the family matriarch, Anna, suddenly announces that she’s divorcing Eduardo, because she thinks her secretive husband is having another affair for the second time in their marriage. The children are devastated by this news, but Eduardo’s real secret is even more devastating. Even so, it offers the family one more chance to rally around one another during the Christmas holiday.
NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS is a funny, heartwarming and even suspenseful holiday treat for mature moviegoers, but there’s too much foul language and a few crude sexual references, including about three homosexual jokes. The movie, however, has some positive Christian content, including a powerful, spiritually uplifting scene with the Puerto Rican neighborhood singing Christmas carols in the streets, though the Christian content should have played a more central role in the story. Despite the lapses in the movie’s content, the characters are endearing, and the dialogue is clever and well structured. The cast is wonderfully warm and real in NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS. In the end, NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS leaves viewers feeling hopeful and positive.
The movie’s dominant metaphor is the old tree sitting outside the parents’ house. The tree is not much to look at, but it’s got a lot of heart and strength, and cannot be easily destroyed. That could be the same fate of the movie at the box office this December and January.
As usual, please consult our detailed CONTENT section above for the potential objections you may have in seeing this movie.
NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS is a heartwarming, lively and often humorous holiday treat. It’s one of the better-produced and acted holiday movies of its kind. The movie ends on a heartwarming, uplifting note, but there is too much foul language and some brief crude comedy with sexual content. Moviegoers should check out our full description of the movie’s content on our website at movieguide.org before going.