Nothing Like the Holidays is another one of those family dramedies where being critical and irresponsible behavior is just adorable because it's real, man, it's real. I'd personally like to see movies encourage a more productive family dynamic, but maybe this generation is still at the admitting the problem phase. Perhaps my kids can see movies about solving it.
Review: Nothing Like the Holidays
The Rodriguez family say whatever's on their mind, regardless of whether it's appropriate or even basically kind. They gang up on each other, swap alliances when it suits them and make fun of the smart ones for lacking physical prowess, or the badasses for being stupid.
They speak in melodrama so that no one actually hears any potentially valid points. They've created an insular world so they criticize outside success because it threatens their little bubble.
This frustrates me because it's not okay to scream instead of listen. It's not okay to keep doing things that don't work because that's just family, man. If it ever worked, if one couple ever said, "You know, mom, you're right. It is time for us to have kids," that would still be a ridiculously low success rate.
If keeping secrets ever led to protecting someone from being hurt, those rare cases would still be overwhelmed by the secrets that only cause more trouble. Plus, you don't get to protect anyone from being hurt. Being hurt is a part of life and you better deal with it.
If burying your emotions ever kept things smooth… Yeah, people really behave this way, but they shouldn't. You want to complain about violence and sex in movies influencing kids. How about making movies that teach people to find a better way, so that the next round of grownups doesn't have so many psychological problems!
And they mention Desperate Housewives to show they're hip and they sing into trophies. White people sing into hair brushes, so I guess trophies are a Latin thing.
After all the bravado, the drama actually plays out in really heartfelt ways. It reveals how broken these people are and you feel for them. Still, secrets clearly don't work, but even though they don't work, they keep trying to keep 'em. And please, keep berating people for their shortcomings. That not only encourages them to improve themselves but it makes you cool for pointing out the flaws.
Nothing Like the Holidays opens to theaters on November 21st.