Nothing Like the Holidays (2008)

Even Puerto Ricans know how to celebrate Christmas, who would of thought?

John Leguizmo and Alfred Molina head up an all-star cast in this multicultural ensemble comedy that follows a trio of Puerto Rican siblings — a Marine, an actress and a businessman — on their way home to Chicago for a Christmastime family reunion. Directed by Alfredo De Villa, the holiday tale also features performances by Debra Messing, Luis Guzman, Jay Hernandez, Freddy Rodriguez, Vanessa Ferlito and Melonie Diaz.

So thinking since it’s the holiday season, it’s time for me to spread a little bit of Christmas cheer, for all to , well, see. This film came out in 2008, and has been widely forgotten about, which blows considering, it is a great feel-good movie for the whole family, come Christmas time.

This film does a great job at keeping you watching. It has a great appeal, of a big family that reunites all together for the big Christmas day & dinner. I enjoyed watching all the moments that lead up to the eventful dinner, mainly because a lot of the things were funny, but at the same time, some of them were just plain dramatic, and in a way felt real. Hell, this family may even remind you of your own at times.

Although there is some well scripted comedy it is not enough to make up for the constant parading of unresolved problems which pile up like dead bodies by the side of the road. And although there is some resolve you still can’t get those dead carcasses out of your mind. This may be more realistic of the way many families live, at Christmas but I would rather focus on the positive than dwell in the negative at least one month out of the year.

Despite the film being also quite predictable, as most dysfunctional family movies are, the characters keep you glued on. Alfred Molina as Eddy, the dad, and Elizabeth Pena as Anna, the mom do a great job with their roles as parents with marital problems that they have kept hidden for the most part. Luis Guzman always finds a way to bring great comedy to any film. Freddy Rodriguez is good here, providing a very likable character. John Leguizamo, and Debra Messing, actually have a good chemistry together, and although their a couple that doesn’t seem like they would work on screen, they actually do a good job at being a couple with baby problems.

Consensus: Not the best Christmas movies out there, mainly because it focuses too negatively on some subjects, but the likable characters, and strong performances, make you feel good while watching this little holiday treat.



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