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Movie Review: Nothing Like the Holidays

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Comedy

Release Date: December 12, 2008

Running Time: 98 minutes

Child friendly?: Since this film is about relatively adult issues such as divorce, ethnic belonging and post-traumatic stress syndrome, there is a chance that younger children will not understand or get bored. The romantic, sexual and language content is also best suited to children 13 or older.

Nothing Like the Holidays is another addition to the already full genre of holiday movies about a loving family that also manages to fight and clash about various issues – a believable scenario, but nothing groundbreaking.

The difference this time around is that the family is Puerto Rican and lives in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, giving the story a Hispanic twist.

Eddy and Anna Rodriguez are the parents of the clan, while their youngest son Jesse has just returned from fighting in Iraq.

Meanwhile, aspiring LA actress Roxanna joins the Christmas celebration, as does New York lawyer Mauricio.

With the whole family back together, there is bound to be some conflict, but the most shocking announcement may come from the elder Rodriguez, who announce they plan to split up.

Fathers may find a lot to enjoy in this tale, which combines emotional events with gentle comedy. Non-Hispanic families may also appreciate a peek inside the traditions of a different culture.

But chances are younger kids may want to opt out of this particular holiday fare and watch something more suited to their age group.