Nothing Like the Holidays
PG-13
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +1/2

Freddy Rodriguez, John Leguizamo, Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, Jay Hernandez, Melonie Diaz, Vanessa Ferlito, Luis Guzman, Elizabeth Pea. Written by Rick Najera, Ted Perkins, Alison Swan. Directed by Alfredo de Villa.

FILM SYNOPSIS:Its Christmastime and the far-flung members of the Rodriguez family are converging at their parents home in Chicago to celebrate the season and rejoice in their youngest brothers safe return from combat overseas. For Jesse (Freddy Rodriguez), coming home has rekindled feelings for an old flame, although she cant seem to forgive him for leaving. His older sister Roxanna, a struggling actress, has been chasing her Hollywood dreams for years with little to show for it. And much to the dismay of their mother, Anna (Elizabeth Pea), eldest brother Mauricio (John Leguizamo) brings home a high-powered executive wife (Debra Messing) who would rather raise capital than a child. Plus, the matriarch of the family has an announcement.

PREVIEW REVIEW:Its Christmastime and siblings return home to quarrel and discover that Mom and Dad are getting a divorce. All heck breaks out before anyone is able to finish the welcome-home meal. Now, if this synopsis sounds familiar, there is one addition to the many weve seen in this genre; this time it happens to a Hispanic family.

Despite the familiar premise and some profanity, I enjoyed the film. It gives you a look at Hispanic life and at the same time sends a message that we are all the same. Every ethnicity brings flavor to Americas stew pot. That message is brought home.

I found Nothing Like the Holidays entertaining and revealing. Its not a great film, but it had depth and humor and even a positive ending.

DVD Alternative:The Gathering. (1977) Ed Asner, Maureen Stapleton. This Emmy-winning TV movie focuses on a dying man's efforts to reunite his family. It reinforces the importance of family and presents positive Christian images including a believable prayer, the scripture reading of Jesus' birth, and a child's christening.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Overture Films

Summary
Crude Language: A couple of sexual innuendos, but mostly it steers clear of crudity.
Obscene Language: Around 10 obscenities, mostly the s-word.
Profanity: Gods name or Christs are taken in vain around five times.
Violence: A brief brawl, and at one point, a man points a gun at another, threatening to kill him; a man has a small heart attack, causing his car to swerve into traffic; but no one is injured.
Sexual Intercourse: A couple of sexual innuendos, but no graphic sexual antics.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: A couple of sexual innuendos, but no graphic sexual antics.
Drug Abuse: Drinking and smoking throughout.
Other: None
Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Above

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