Alison Swan

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Nothing Like The Holidays Review


OK
Caucasians have not cornered the market on festive dysfunction. It may seem like every Christmas family in freefall is as white as the snow that symbolizes the season, but that's not true. All ethnicities have their yuletide horror stories, and it looks like Tinseltown is finally working its way out of the WASP-ish wilds of the suburbs. Last year, This Christmas focused on an African-American clan's tell-all Noel. In 2008, it's the Hispanics' turn to celebrate. Nothing Like the Holidays uses Chicago's Humboldt Park as the backdrop for a great deal of warmth, a little comic craziness, and a whole lot of biology-based nerve fraying. The result is something decent, if not delightful.

For the Rodriguez family, this Christmas is more trying than others. Father Edy (Alfred Molina) is still trying to talk his way out of the doghouse with wife Anna (Elizabeth Peña). She's angry over a past infidelity and is hinting at a divorce. He's angry that their Iraq War veteran son Jesse (Freddy Rodriguez) doesn't want to take over the family business. Wannabe-actress daughter Roxanna (Vanessa Ferlito) is anxious over the possibility of landing a prime role in a television series, while ignoring the local boy Ozzy (Jay Hernandez) who clearly pines away for her. But the couple's biggest concern is Mauricio (John Leguizamo) and his non-Puerto Rican wife Sarah (Debra Messing). Their marriage has yet to produce grandchildren, and for Edy and Anna, family is everything.

Continue reading: Nothing Like The Holidays Review

Mixing Nia Review


Weak
Nia is a mixed-race ad executive who just can't come to grips with her life, particularly her place in the social strata of New York City. Ostinsibly, you are supposed to care about whether Nia chooses vegetarianism, or whether she chooses to segregate her books based on the color of the writer. Unfortunately, Nia is so plainly shallow, not to mention pretty stupid, that you will probably have little luck caring about her at all. A few funny moments redeem the picture from drecksville, but overall the movie is a throwaway.
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Nothing Like the Holidays Movie Review

Nothing Like the Holidays Movie Review

Caucasians have not cornered the market on festive dysfunction. It may seem like every Christmas...

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