To mark the release of Overture Films' "Nothing like the Holidays" comedy, we've thrown together a list films we remember the leading cast members the most by. Have your own list? Add it for others see below.
“Nothing Like the Holidays” stars Alfred Molina, Elizabeth Peña, John Leguizamo, Debra Messing, Freddy Rodriguez, Jay Hernandez, Melonie Diaz, Vanessa Ferlito and Luis Guzman.
Release is set for December 12. For those unfamiliar with the story, read below, otherwise, please feel free skip past to the list.
What’s it about?
If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that family time isn’t always a walk in the park. In Nothing Like the Holidays, two of today’s most talented actors, John Leguizamo (The Happening, The Take) and Freddy Rodriguez (“Six Feet Under,” Bobby), join Debra Messing (“Will & Grace,” “The Starter Wife”), Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code, Spider-Man 2), and director Alfredo de Villa (the award-winning Washington Heights) to tell the humorous and heartwarming story of one unforgettable family holiday.
It’s Christmastime and the far-flung members of the Rodriguez family are converging at their parents’ home in Chicago to celebrate the season and rejoice in their youngest brother’s safe return from combat overseas. For Jesse (Freddy Rodriguez), coming home has rekindled feelings for an old flame, although she can’t seem to forgive him for leaving. His older sister Roxanna, a struggling actress, has been chasing her Hollywood dreams for years with little to show for it. And much to the dismay of their mother Anna (Elizabeth Peña), eldest brother Mauricio (John Leguizamo) brings home a high-powered executive wife (Debra Messing) who would rather raise capital than a child.
In the course of one eventful week, traditions will be celebrated, secrets revealed and major life decisions made. It all begins when Anna announces to her children she is divorcing their father Eduardo (Alfred Molina). The shock waves from this familial upheaval prompt Roxanna, Mauricio and Jesse, each in their own way, to reevaluate the past and rethink the future. But when the Rodriguezes learn that one of their own is facing a true crisis, they instinctively pull together: Old resentments are forgotten, familial bonds are re-affirmed and the healing power of laughter works its magic as the family discovers they are much stronger than they ever realized.
Super-talented and versatile, Mr. Molina is one of the most respected actors one can find. “Spider-Man” fans remember him from his role as Dr. Otto Octavius (a.k.a. Doctor Octopus) in the second film in the series. Other high-profile roles include in Ron Howard’s “The Da Vinci Code” as Bishop Aringarosa. The one we like the most is in 2006’s “The Hoax” with Richard Gere. Molina played to perfection the character of Dick Suskind, Gere’s awfully nervous and sweaty co-schemer.
We think this is by far John Leguizamo’s strongest role to date. The actor shone in Sebastian Cordero’s Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize nominated crime thriller. Another credit of note includes the strange 1997 comic book adaptation of “Spawn” where he turns in a great performance as Clown (a.k.a. Violator).
You're probably wondering why "Will & Grace" isn't the feature in this case; in truth, I couldn't stand the series. In "Along Came Polly," Debra Messing co-stars as Lisa Kramer, the soon-to-be ex of her heartbroken new hubby Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller). This comes after an all-bearing French islander sweeps her off her feet and into the sack during the honeymoon. Sexy, cheeky and not to be trusted, Lisa is a character we think Debra plays wonderfully.
Jay Hernandez has certainly notched up credits in a fair share of genres; the actor starred in Eli Roth’s gruesome thriller “Hostel,” mixed it up with John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix in “Ladder 49,” romanced Kirsten Dunst in “Crazy/Beautiful” in 2001 and more. We think his role in “The Rookie” is one the highlights of his career as well as a decent performance in the crime drama prequel “Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power.”
With over 78 credits to her name, Elizabeth Peña is a veteran of both film and TV. What I didn’t know was that it was her voice that added sex appeal to the Mirage character in Disney/Pixar’s “The Incredibles.” Within this buffet of credits, I mostly admired her character in Duncan Tucker’s indie winner “Transamerica.” She played the shrink to Bree (Felicity Huffman); a man who wants to take on the final steps of his metamorphosis into a woman.
This one was a tough one as well. We liked his performances in the “Planet Terror” segment of “Grindhouse” as well as “Harsh Times” with “Dark Knight” star Christian Bale. However, his most memorable role is in HBO’s successful series “Six Feet Under.” Here, he plays ‘Rico’ Diaz, a character with his own struggles which Rodriguez adds a sense of perseverance to.