MovieSet Review ~ “Nothing Like the Holidays”


Here is a crazy new family Christmas DVD, out just in time for the holidays! I was asked by my my son, Dave, who works for MovieSet, to post a blurb about it on Twitter, Facebook and my Blog. So, here is the synopsis and a little movie trailer to give you an idea whether to buy or rent it as part of this season’s family fun. (Rated PG-13)


It’s a “tale of a Puerto Rican family gathering at their family home in Chicago’s Humboldt Park for the holidays. On the surface, the Rodriguez family has much to be thankful for this Christmas. Eldest son Mauricio (John Leguizamo) is a lawyer on the verge of making partner and his wife is a Wall Street dynamo (Debra Messing), daughter Roxanna (Vanessa Ferlito) is a movie star, and youngest son Jesse (Freddy Rodriguez) has just returned home from a tour in Iraq.

For the first time in years, the three siblings will all be home for the holidays, and their parents, Anna (Elizabeth Peña) and Eduardo (Alfred Molina), are elated. Except that Mauricio’s wife isn’t Puerto Rican, and despite her mother-in-law’s constant pleas, she’s in no rush to have a baby. Meanwhile, Roxanna is more of a struggling actress then a star, and Jesse is having a hard time adjusting to regular life and facing Marissa (Melonie Diaz), the “one that got away” when he enlisted.

To make matters worse, their mother suspects their father of cheating and has decided that she wants a divorce. Overall, this is a film about a family coming together for Christmas, but learning much more about each other and themselves. More of a dramedy then a comedy, most of the laughs belong to Luis Guzmán as cousin Johnny. Jay Hernandez also appears as Ozzy, a close family friend who works at Eduardo’s bodega and is struggling with his own demons. Leguizamo, Ferlito, and Rodriguez are believable as siblings who love each other even when they can’t stand each other. Peña and Molina are well-cast as the matriarch and patriarch who ultimately put family first despite their differences.”


NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS is this year’s warm and fuzzy Christmas movie.
The film offers some funny and heartwarming moments.”
“USA Today – Claudia Puig (12/12/2008)

“[A]n efficient home-for-Christmas ensemble comedy.
The most engaging moments of NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS
are the festive party sequences.”
~ New York Times – Stephen Holden (12/12/2008)

“The performers breathe real life into the characters.
The dialogue, the specifics, and especially the acting take charge, and the
movie becomes funny, sad, corny, romantic, heartfelt, all when it needs to be.”
~ Chicago Sun-Times – Roger Ebert (12/12/2008)

“[A] broad, warm, aspirational ’tis-the-season concoction about a raucous family — mom, dad, three grown kids, assorted significant others — reunited at Christmas.”
~ Entertainment Weekly – Lisa Schwarzbaum (12/19/2008)

NOTHING LIKE THE HOLDAYS mixes family melodrama with the
good cheer of the season, all with a distinct Latin flavor.
The atmosphere is easygoing and the actors seem relaxed.”
~ Hollywood Reporter – Kirk Honeycutt (12/04/2008)


3 responses to this post.

  1. I swear I saw a trailer for this on tv a while ago.


  2. Could easily be Heather, as this DVD came from Canada and perhaps they are slower on the uptake for the new releases.


  3. lauralee, sounds like a movie I would enjoy. What does your son do at movieset?


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