Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nothing Like the Holidays - Movie Review

Nothing Like the Holidays (PG-13) 99 minutes C
Dysfunction junction what's your function

Starring John Leguizamo, Debra Messing, Freddy Rodriguez, Vanessa Ferlito, Luis Guzman, Jay Hernandez, Alfred Molina, and Elizabeth Pena

Nothing Like the Holidays is an entertaining film but it's nothing we haven't seen before. The Rodriguez family is gathering in Chicago for the Christmas holiday and this year is extra special because they're welcoming home their youngest son, Jesse, from Iraq. But of course there's plenty of drama to go around and lots of family baggage to be rehashed.

I never saw The Family Stone or This Christmas, but I've read that this film is basically the Latino version of those films... Nevertheless, Nothing Like the Holidays is not bad, but it's also not original.

---------------------------------Bonus DVD Review------------------

Breaking and Entering (R) 120 minutes C+
Emotional Larceny

DVD Release Date - May 2007
Starring Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn, Martin Freeman, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, and Rafi Gavron

This is a film that I had very very high hopes for. I hoped that it would be a mature film about love, lust, and complicated hearts... and indeed it is. It's directed by the late Anthony Minghella, who also directed Cold Mountain, The English Patient, and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Breaking and Entering is a slow developing film about crime and passion; stealing possessions as well as emotions. It didn't quite live up to my expectations, but the last quarter of the film did have me on the edge of my seat and the acting is very effective.

It's important to note that this was the first original film Minghella had written since 1990's Truly Madly Deeply, so perhaps that might explain the film's introspection which both helped and hampered the outcome of this romance/drama.

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