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Nothing Like the Holidays [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

John Leguizamo , Freddy Rodríguez , Alfredo De Villa    DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £5.97
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Frequently Bought Together

Nothing Like the Holidays [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Fred Claus [DVD] [2007]
Price For Both: £11.08

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Product details

  • Actors: John Leguizamo, Freddy Rodríguez, Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, Elizabeth Peña
  • Directors: Alfredo De Villa
  • Writers: Alison Swan, Rene M. Rigal, Rick Najera, Robert Teitel
  • Producers: Freddy Rodríguez, George Tillman Jr., Paul Kim
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Oct 2009
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LK8UP0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,147 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Guzman/Leguizamo/Messing/Molina ~ Nothing Like The Holidays

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable drama without any schmaltz 18 Jan 2010
I really enjoyed this film, both as a Christmas movie and as a good-quality film about family break-ups, struggles and affection in the 21st century. The Latino ethnicity of the characters also made this film more fresh and interesting than most family dramas and the acting was wonderful, especially from the always-great Alfred Molina, and Freddy Rodriguez. And yes the Iraq war is mentioned once or twice but it's not moralized about or discussed at any length. This film is about FAMILY and all that that can entail, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be entertained and have their heart warmed. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas drama rich with comedy and emotion 2 May 2011
A charming and warm, feel good family christmas drama. Nothing Like The Holidays is an entertaining exploration of the bonds of a tightly knit Puerto Rican family living in Chicago. The ensemble is superb, of particular note for their standout performances are Luis Guzman, and Freddy Rodriguez in the role of Jesse. Rodriguez portrays with sensitively and realism the emotions of a solider returning home from Iraq. Like you'd expect, there are tear-jerking moments but also plenty of laughs. All in all an enjoyable christmas movie.
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing 8 Nov 2009
I tend to enjoy Christmas movies and even though I hadn't heard of this one, I was pleased to see Deborah Messing among the cast. However, the film is so drab and dreary that I watched quite a lot on fast forward. So, unless you are willing to waste an afternoon, don't bother watching this!
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A WASTED AFTERNOON... 10 Jan 2010
I like John Leguizamo, as a stand up that is. This movie did not move though. Maybe JL is at a stage in his career where he will sign up for anything that has a script, but this piece of cinematography was dire. After the first 45 minutes I looked at my partner and said ' I'm sure something will actually happen soon..' Sad thing is it never did. Most interesting part of the film was the end credits, (though why many of the people involved wanted to be associated with this waste of time is beyond me). Watch at your peril.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  105 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really fun with a twist 16 Jun 2009
By M J MCEVOY - Published on
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!
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We're Spending Christmas Together Whether You Like it or Not 14 Dec 2008
By Chris Pandolfi - Published on
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.

Sarah and Mauricio are having problems of their own. While they're successful executives in New York City, business opportunities are threatening both their marriage and their prospects for having children, which Sarah may not be ready for right now. It would help if Anna would stop asking for a grandchild. She's trying her hardest to be on friendly terms with Anna, offering to help clean, practicing Spanish, insisting that she's learned a great deal about Puerto Rican cuisine. There's a wonderful moment just after Anna announces at the dinner table that she's divorcing Edy; after everyone leaves in disgust, Sarah remains where she is, calmly asserting that she isn't finished eating. For the first time, Anna gives Sarah a genuinely loving look.

Unfortunately, Mauricio is unwilling to accept his parents' divorce, probably because, as a married man himself, he believes that spouses are supposed to ride the ups and downs of life together. Ultimately, he says, you end up falling in love all over again. What he seems to be forgetting is that his mother suspects his father of cheating, which is unforgivable after over thirty years of marriage.

And then there are the other two children. The younger son, Jesse (Freddy Rodriguez, also one of the film's executive producers), is a soldier returning home from the Iraq war. He carries a lot of guilt, not only because he broke up with his girlfriend, Marissa (Melonie Diaz), but also because of an event that went horribly wrong in Iraq. Now back home, Edy is putting pressure on Jesse to take control of the grocery store. But does Jesse want that kind of responsibility? What exactly does he want? Whatever it is, he doesn't believe he'll find it in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago. He certainly won't be getting any support from Mauricio, who has always felt that Jesse had virtually everything handed to him.

The sister, Roxanna (Vanessa Ferlito), is an actress visiting from Los Angeles. While she has managed a few small roles, she has yet to get her big break. She is being considered for a part in a new television series, but given the fact that her agent calls frequently with little to no news, it's difficult to say what will happen. What she really doesn't understand is why everyone around her thinks she has been living such a glamorous life; they seem to forget that many actors struggle to pay their bills.

Intertwined with all this are a couple of minor subplots, including the Rodriguez's outspoken cousin, Johnny (Luis Guzmán), Marissa's relationship with a new man, and Roxanna's friend, Ozzy (Jay Hernandez), a former gang member who still has some unfinished business. There are also a few interesting scenes with a tree that's been standing on the Rodriguez's front lawn for years. Anna has always wanted it cut down; it doesn't give her a view. Attempts to destroy it only make its metaphor for family all the more obvious--it may by twisted, obstructive, and just plain ugly, but it's also indestructible and deeply rooted. Messages like this are expected in holiday movies, and I can't fool myself into believing that "Nothing Like the Holidays" gives us anything new in the way of family drama. But I also can't deny the fact that the filmmakers made it work. This movie, for all intents and purposes, feels authentic from beginning to end. It's funny at times, yet it never goes for a series of cheap laughs. It's sad at times, yet it doesn't resort to overblown moments of melodrama. It gave me the gift of an enjoyable movie going experience, and I'm sure it will do the same for you.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!!! A must have for the collection 2 Nov 2009
By SaweetPea - Published on
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!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun urban Drama-Comedy that takes a bit of brain power to enjoy! 27 Oct 2009
By randomartco - Published on
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!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious joyless movie 2 Nov 2009
By Kerryann Kenney - Published on
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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