Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nothing Like the Holidays: Familiar territory but a chance for a surprise?

Nothing Like the Holidays: Trailer 1 @ Apple Trailers

I never would have thought that the names Debra Messing and John Leguizamo would be in the same movie tagline, but life is about surprises and change. At least that's the message that I got from the trailer of Nothing Like the Holidays. Leguizamo and Messing are a newly engaged couple and visiting his family for the holidays. The rub is that Messing's character is clearly WASP-y and Leguizamo's family is quite Hispanic. It starts out tamely enough on familiar romantic comedy territory and had me thinking it was careening in the direction of a "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner-Lite" remake. I was also expecting copious amounts of "Meet the Parents" style awkwardness and antics, but was pleasantly surprised when it looked like family drama was the focus. The dialogue sounds relatively natural and the characters are a comfortable distance away from the carictures that emerge far too often in rom-com's (I love this mashup) these days, especially ones involving ethnic families.

It doesn't hurt that the cast is quite good, with the often undersold John Leguizamo, Alfred Molina, and Freddy Rodriguez in what looks to be an actually interesting holiday script. I was surprised by the trailer and think that critics will be surprised as well. Of course it could just be well cut holiday schlock, but i'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

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