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"HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS"
(1995) (Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate None Mild None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Moderate Moderate Minor Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A daughter visits her dysfunctional family over the holidays.
PLOT:
Claudia Larson (HOLLY HUNTER) is a single mom who loses her job right before Thanksgiving. She isn't happy about going to see her family, and to top off her stress level, her teenage daughter, Kitt (CLAIRE DANES), tells her that she's planning on losing her virginity that weekend. Claudia arrives at her parent's home and is greeted by her over critical mom, Adele (ANNE BANCROFT), and her dad, Henry (CHARLES DURNING), who's going senile. Joining the clan for Thanksgiving dinner is her gay brother Tommy Larson (ROBERT DOWNEY JR.) and his co-worker Leo Fish (DYLAN MCDERMOTT) who's come along to meet Claudia. Rounding out the fun-filled household is neurotic sister Joanne (CYNTHIA STEVENSON) and her husband Walter (STEVE GUTTENBERG) and senile aunt Glady (GERALDINE CHAPLIN). As personalities clash and tensions rise, it's all Claudia can do to survive this trip home for the holidays.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's doubtful. Unless any of the actors draw them in, most kids will avoid this one, especially younger children.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic material, language and brief drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • The whole family is dysfunctional and by the fact that none of them get along, none of them are great role models for kids. The only one who's close is the character played by HOLLY HUNTER, but even she smokes a joint in one scene and seems to condone her teenage daughter's declaration of losing her virginity that weekend.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 6 out of 10
    This is at times a funny and occasionally heart felt movie about family members coming together over the holidays. Hunter gives her usual competent performance and is as likeable as ever. Downey's performance is more interesting to watch, particularly due to his recent drug problems and one can see that he was definitely on something (based on his hyped up look) during the filming of this production. If you don't like family squabbles and tension, you should stay clear of this movie because it will drive you crazy. On the other hand, if you don't mind such encounters as the basis for comedy, you'll probably enjoy this film. We give it a 6 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    To begin with, the family represented in this movie certainly isn't what you'd like your younger kids to see as a "model" family. Regarding the content, Hunter's character smokes a joint in one scene and is rather accepting of the fact that her daughter has informed her of her choice to lose her virginity. The worst of the profanity includes 9 "s" words, several slang references involving male genitals and a quick reference to oral sex. There is one scene involving farting and one of the characters is gay (for those concerned with that). We suggest that you read through the category listings to determine if this movie is appropriate for you or your family.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Claudia takes a quick puff from a joint (marijuana) while in her bathroom.
  • Tommy tells his mother that he’s got the best "trendy booze" for her to try.
  • The furnace repair guy tells Claudia that he has no family for the holidays since his parents were killed the year before by a drunk driver.
  • The family drinks wine with their Thanksgiving meal.
  • Claudia and her dad drink beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some family members don't get along and have no problem arguing with each other.
  • Henry answers the phone with a mocking, but weak Japanese accent.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Moron," "Idiot," "Bastard," "Piss," "Piss me off," "Freak," "Bone head," and "Sucker."
  • Tommy takes a polaroid picture of Claudia in the shower.
  • Claudia gets out of Tommy’s car and when she tries to get back in he pulls away from her each time.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 9 "s" words, 2 slang terms referencing male genitals ("c*cksucker" and "d*ck"), 14 hells, 9 "ass" words, 5 damns, 2 craps, 1 "freagin" (instead of the "f" word), and 13 uses of "God damn," 9 of "God," 6 of "Oh my God," 5 of "Jesus," 4 of "Oh God," 3 of "Jesus Christ," 2 uses each of "My God" and "Swear to God," and 1 use each of "Christ," "For God’s Sake," and "Mother of Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • As she’s dropping Claudia off at the airport, Kitt tells her that she’s going to have sex for the first time with her boyfriend "safely and not in the car." Later while calling Tommy, Claudia says that Kitt’s going to have sex with a teenager. After the big meal, Tommy announces to everyone that Kitt is probably losing her virginity and getting pregnant at the same time. Finally, Claudia talks to Kitt on the phone and asks her if she’s done "it," to which Kitt says she hasn't.
  • Adele is seen in her bra and slip as she undresses.
  • Claudia is seen in her underwear.
  • It’s assumed that Tommy and Leo are gay lovers, but it turns out Leo’s just a co-worker and that Tommy has married another man.
  • Tommy reminds Claudia (perhaps joking) that she gave the furnace repair guy "his first blow job."
  • Leo tells Claudia that she saw a picture of her that Tommy showed him. She asks him if it was a nude picture of her and his reaction proves that it was.
  • Leo and Claudia make out on the living roof sofa, passionately kissing and he ends up on top of her between her legs. There’s no nudity or movement and they stop when Tommy interrupts them.
  • SMOKING
  • Adele smokes throughout the movie while Claudia smokes twice and Tommy once.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Claudia’s family is extremely dysfunctional and there’s lots of yelling and arguing among the family members.
  • The furnace repair guy tells Claudia that he has no family for the holidays since his parents were killed the year before by a drunk driver.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Spending time with family over the holidays.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Tommy falls from Leo’s shoulders to the front porch as he tries to change a light bulb.
  • Walter throws a nerf football at Tommy’s car. The two of them then get into a pushing match and end up on the ground where Walter repeatedly hits Tommy. Leo tries to break it up, but gets accidentally punched by Tommy. Finally Henry hoses them down and breaks up the scuffle.



  • Reviewed December 14, 1996

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