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Nothing Like the Holidays (2008)

John Leguizamo , Debra Messing  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Leguizamo, Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, Freddy Rodríguez, Jay Hernandez
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LK8UP0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,867 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nothing Like the Holidays" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John Leguizamo (Ice Age, Moulin Rouge!), Freddy Rodriguez (“Six Feet Under,” Bobby), Debra Messing (“Will & Grace,” “The Starter Wife”), and Alfred Molina (The Pink Panther 2) lead a hilarious ensemble cast in this humorous and heartwarming holiday story that is “laugh-out-loud-funny and downright touching." ( It’s Christmastime in Chicago, and the far-flung members of the Rodriguez family are converging at their parents’ home to celebrate the season. During the course of this eventful week, traditions will be celebrated, secrets revealed, old resentments forgotten, familial bonds re-affirmed and the healing power of laughter will work its magic. Nothing Like The Holidays is a “heartfelt,” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) gift for the whole family.

If Nothing Like the Holidays appears to have little in common with Frank Capra's small-town perennial It's a Wonderful Life, Alfredo De Villa's urban dramedy also mixes the bitter with the sweet. The fireworks begin when Eduardo and Anna Rodriguez (Alfred Molina and Elizabeth Peña) welcome their Puerto Rican brood to celebrate Christmas in Chicago: Iraq War veteran Jesse (Illinois native Freddy Rodríguez), struggling actress Roxanna (Death Proof’s Vanessa Ferlitto), and attorney Mauricio (John Leguizamo) and his tightly-wound spouse, Sarah (Debra Messing). While Roxanna finds herself drawn to family friend Ozzy (Jay Hernandez), a former gang-banger, Jesse struggles with his feelings for ex-girlfriend Marissa (Melonie Diaz), who's moved on in his absence, and Anna laments her lack of grandchildren, but when she announces she's divorcing Edy, a bodega proprietor, the entire clan decides to make the most of their last holiday together. If De Villa's intentions are honorable, and his cast is up to the task--especially Molina and Rodríguez--the two halves of his film make for an awkward fit. Jesse's shell-shocked veteran, for instance, belongs to a different movie than that of his wisecracking cousin, Johnny (Luis Guzmán). Then, when Ozzy picks up a gun in an act of revenge, domestic drama and ethnic comedy collide with the hood flick. Unlike the many brash and materialistic entertainments crowding the multiplex at the end of the year, Nothing Like the Holidays prioritizes cultural and emotional matters, but still registers as more of a missed opportunity than a contemporary classic. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Stills from Nothing Like the Holidays (Click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really fun with a twist June 16, 2009
This is a fun movie - lots of hilarious moments with a great ensemble cast. You get the feeling that the actors had a lot of fun when they did this film.
Beside being funny it also makes some valuable statements about family life, forgiveness, healing and accepting our humanness.
An altogether warm viewing experience - something there for every generation!
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Allow me to quote from my review of "Four Christmases," released only a few weeks ago: "I don't need to spend $8.75 to be told that we should spend time with our loved ones, even if they're completely insane. By now, I think we all know." As much as I believe this to be true, films like "Nothing Like the Holidays" prove that even well established messages can still be effective. This movie is everything "Four Christmases" was not: funny, touching, and intelligent, with drama that actually feels genuine. While it gives us just about everything we've come to expect from the typical holiday movie, it makes the most of what it's got, and I have a feeling that just about everyone will find it relatable to certain degree. It's a family drama that has just the right balance of humor and heart, and it features a number of actors that naturally fit into the material.

"Nothing Like the Holidays" tells the story of the Rodriguez family and the drama that befalls them during the Christmas holiday. The father, Edy (Alfred Molina), is the owner of a Puerto Rican grocery store in the middle of Chicago, and he'd like nothing more than for one of his sons to someday take over the business. Unfortunately, he and his wife, Anna (Elizabeth Peña), are having a great deal of problems. Anna is a very unhappy woman. For one thing, she has reason to believe that Edy is cheating on her, with his constant cell phone calls and late nights out. Furthermore, she would like nothing more than for her son, Mauricio (John Leguizamo), and his wife, Sarah (Debra Messing), to bless her elderly years with a grandchild. When in the same room together, Anna regards Sarah not with scorn, but with a quiet air of disappointment, as if to say she could be doing a much better job.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!!! A must have for the collection November 2, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing movie. It is filled with such family spirit that you almost forget that you are watching a movie. What makes it so great is that they are so close. The producers really picked some great actors. Like I said doesnt seem like a movie at all. I could watch this over and over again and will be. A great movie to watch every holiday!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Nothing Like the Holidays is an urban drama-comedy about a family get-together in the Puerto Rican part of Chicago: it was entertaining, it was funny, it was boring, it was good, it was so-so, it was warm-hearted, it was lively, it was dull, it was clear, it was confusing...this movie was just ALL OVER the place! While I enjoyed being introduced to each character and their own storyline, and then watching them all come together for a Puerto Rican family Christmas, there was just too many of the multiple plot lines all over the place, making it an enjoyable movie because of the humor, but unenjoyable because it took a lot of 'work' (i.e. brain power) to enjoy the movie! I think Christmas movies should be fun, entertaining & meaningful!

For those of you who are concerned about content, I would not call this a family friendly film: it's PG-13, and it earns its rating: there is quite a bit of language, and plenty of references to drugs and sex...not kid friendly.

I enjoyed this holiday film, but I doubt I would ever watch it again: I tend to watch Christmas movies over and over again, but this one just doesn't make the cut: it was good, but not great, a familiar story but not told well, with great acting performances and a 'bleh' storyline...enjoy if you must!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious joyless movie November 1, 2009
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wanted to like this movie because I love holiday movies that show family dissent because it feels like the Christmases I grew up with. I was hoping there would be Christmas music, holiday feast scene, some tender tear jerking moments etc. Redemption. Love. Snowflakes. Ahhh.

The movie opens with the homecoming of the stoic soldier son. He drives through his home town with his brother/cousin and there is much joking and laughter until bad memories resurface. Then back home to great joy and excitement until family tensions surface.

That's fine. That's kind of the ensemble holiday movie script, however, the characters were not particularly appealing and their problems felt superficial. We had some marital tension, we had some hyper ambition, we had some missed chances at love and then of course, the major tragedy of wanting grandbabies but no babies around.

Wrapped up in the totally predictable Tree As Symbol of Family.

My husband and I watched this together and we both agree it was not entertaining. I actually skipped to the end but it wasn't the end and we were held hostage another 45 minutes and I ended up tireder than I should have been the next day because I sat through 70% of this movie.

I apologize to the people that worked hard to make this film but it was not a holiday classic. Pass.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This movie was great for those dominiricans out there!!!!
Published 5 days ago by Frankoosh
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 18 days ago by Keith Price
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 1 month ago by ELVERT GATLING
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Meh. I suppose it's charming, but meh.
Published 2 months ago by MondayDragz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great holiday movie!!
Published 3 months ago by Michael G. Muller
3.0 out of 5 stars As another reviewer said, this movie was kind of cheesy...
Its an okay movie, one I will never watch again. Its a very weird
movie with not a lot of laughs. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Devils.Advocate666
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It...Please Buy It!
Great Latino holiday movie with great humor. It'll keep your family laughing during the holidays. Sit back, relax, and have a hot cup of Champurrado while watching this dvd.
Published 7 months ago by CMA
5.0 out of 5 stars great holiday xmas movie
kind of a different movie, but great acting and a great story of puerto rican togetherness during the holidays. JL was the bomb and so was the cast.
Published 8 months ago by David Amodt
5.0 out of 5 stars nothing like the holidays
it's a great movie especially for the christmas holidays watching it with families and friends also the delivery was on time with no problems at all
Published 8 months ago by Efrain Rodriguez
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOMENESS
The movie was hilarious with good adult humor, not raunchy. Realistic in how the dynamics of a family really are.....
Published 8 months ago by Juliette Ambriz
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