Nothing Like The Holidays parents guide

Nothing Like The Holidays Parent Guide

Overall B-

When the dysfunctional members of the Rodriguez family gather for Christmas in their parents' home in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago, the resulting celebration is Nothing Like The Holidays.

Release date December 11, 2008

Violence B-
Sexual Content C
Profanity C
Substance Use C-

Why is Nothing Like The Holidays rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Nothing Like The Holidays PG-13 for thematic elements including some sexual dialogue, and brief drug references.

Run Time: 98 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

More often than not, “the most wonderful time of the year” seems to bring out the worst in fictional film families. Like so many other dysfunctional relative movies, Nothing Like the Holidays pits siblings against one another and focuses on marital strife.

The Rodriguez clan is gathering at their parents’ house in west Chicago. Though still tethered to their cell phones, Mauricio (John Leguizamo) and his wife Sarah (Debra Messing) have pried themselves away from their high-powered business adventures long enough to celebrate the season in the old neighborhood. But behind thin bedroom walls, they argue about having a baby or pursuing career options. Roxanne (Vanessa Ferlito), the aspiring actress, is home from Hollywood and worrying about the results of her latest audition. Lastly, Jesse (Freddy Rodríguez) has just returned from a three-year tour of duty in Iraq to find his former girlfriend (Melonie Diaz) in the arms of another man (Ramses Jimenez).

While the reunion ought to be a happy one, each of them arrives at the door of the humble abode with more baggage than luggage. Before long, the friendly banter begins to grow nasty and the competitive jabs start flowing as freely as the alcohol. However their mother Anna (Elizabeth Peña) silences them all when she announces her plans to divorce their father, Edy (Alfred Molina) while the group is gathered for a traditional Puerto Rican dinner. Quicker than Scrooge can shout “Bah, humbug”, the last shreds of holiday spirit are snuffed out like a waxy Christmas candle.

Although this drama is stuffed with more dilemmas and unfulfilled expectations than a Christmas goose, the filmmakers give these un-merry characters a chance to marinate while developing the story line. Putting aside their personal issues and disappointments, the siblings stop their bickering long enough to face a harsh reminder about the brevity of life. Still this holiday story is packaged with plenty of profanities, frank sexual discussions, some derogatory comments and frequent alcohol and cigarette use. Gang rivalry drives one of Edy’s employees (Jay Hernandez) to pull a gun on the man who murdered his brother. Later Jesse is drawn into a fistfight with another patron in a bar.

Yet for adults dreading a holiday reunion with family members who have a different perspective on life, this embattled reunion is a reminder that the season is about more than pretty lights, wrapped packages and baubles. Suffering from misunderstanding and rivalry, these characters offer one another the gift of forgiveness, or at least a generous helping of tolerance.

Starring John Leguizamo, Freddy Rodriguez, Debra Messing, Alfred Molina.. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release December 11, 2008. Updated

Nothing Like The Holidays
Rating & Content Info

Why is Nothing Like The Holidays rated PG-13? Nothing Like The Holidays is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic elements including some sexual dialogue, and brief drug references.

Gathering for the holiday, these relatives badger one another while exchanging sexual and derogatory comments. Other frank discussions about fidelity and sexual innuendo about pregnancy and sexual preferences are included. Characters are seen in their underwear or in bed together. A man confronts his brother’s killer and threatens to shoot him. Two men fight in a bar. Frequent depictions of alcohol and cigarette/cigar use are portrayed along with brief drug references. The script also contains numerous profanities and terms of Christian Deity.


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Nothing Like The Holidays Parents' Guide

Why is Edy anxious to turn the family business over to Jesse? What happens when a parent and child’s expectations are different from one another? How can those differences be resolved?

What cultural customs are portrayed in this film? How can family traditions bring a family together?

Despite some marital strife, how does Maurico feel about the institution of marriage?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Nothing Like The Holidays movie is October 27, 2009. Here are some details…

Release Date: 27 October 2009

Nothing Like the Holidays on DVD offers the following bonus materials:

- Featurettes: Nothing Like A Family: Cast Reunion.

- Audio Commentary with Actor Freddy Rodriguez, Director Alfredo De Villa, and Producer Robert Teitel.

- Bloopers.

- Theatrical Trailer.

- Sneak Peeks.

Nothing Like the Holidayson Blu-ray comes with a Digital Copyand the following extras:

- Featurettes: Nothing Like A Family: Cast Reunion.

- Audio Commentary with Actor Freddy Rodriguez, Director Alfredo De Villa, and Producer Robert Teitel.

- Bloopers.

- Theatrical Trailer.

- Sneak Peeks.

- Picture-In-Picture.

- Insider Exclusive with the cast.

Related home video titles:

While this movie may be Nothing like the Holidays, here are some titles that will try to remind you of what the season is all about: A Charlie Brown Christmas and Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

In Christmas with the Kranks, a couple decides to forgo all the seasonal hassles when their daughter announces she is not coming home for the holiday. A man who hopes to remain anonymous in a quiet Los Angeles neighborhood finds his life in turmoil when his Mexican neighbor extends some Hispanic hospitality in Henry Poole is Here.