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The Family Stone (2005)

Cast: Scott Rogers, Scott Rogers, Clark Tucker, more...
Director: Thomas Bezucha, Thomas Bezucha
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Comedies, Romantic Comedy
Running Time: 103 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

A woman meets her future in-laws and discovers they don't much care for her in this comedy from writer and director Thomas Bezucha. Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) is a successful young businessman who is dating Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker), and has asked her to spend Christmas with his family, with plans to ask his mother Sybil (Diane Keaton) for the titular family wedding band and propose to Meredith on Christmas. Meredith is more than a bit nervous about meeting Everett's folks, and things only get worse when they arrive -- Meredith is by her nature straight-laced and a bit uptight around strangers, while Sybil and family patriarch Kelly (Craig T. Nelson) are free-thinkers who, except for Everett, have raised a family of cheerfully rebellious children, most notably younger daughter Amy (Rachel McAdams), older brother Ben (Luke Wilson), and adopted sibling Thad (Tyrone Giordano, who is both deaf and gay.
Meredith and the Stone family do not get along well at first, especially Sybil, who is appalled at the prospect of Everett giving Meredith the family's heirloom wedding ring; in dire need of moral support, Meredith asks her younger sister, Julie (Claire Danes), to join her for Christmas with the Stones. However, the plan runs into a snag when Everett's head is turned by pretty Julie, and Meredith finds herself on the receiving end of attention from slobby Ben. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Ah, family... Arrrrgggh! by talltale April 28, 2006 - 10:31 AM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
The messy whole of family dynamics--not just love, anger, pride, disappointment and joy, but even traffic management in the kitchen during the holidays--gets a good workout in THE FAMILY STONE, an almost pitch-perfect look at close-knit but oddball kin and the interlopers who join them for Christmas. There is a scene midway that is likely to be a divider. In it, the Sarah Jessica Parker character drops a quiet bombshell involving gay parenting and then refuses to let it go. This is literally the only part of the film that writer/director Thomas Bezucha does not quite navigate, and I think that viewers who have been won over by the movie will have to simply accept this scene and move on, although for some it may be a deal-breaker.

Bezucha's only other movie--2000's "Big Eden"--was also a sweet, quirky charmer, but "Stone" outdoes it considerably. This guy is a whiz with ensembles; I should think most of Hollywood (and beyond) would welcome working with him. He negotiates close to flawlessly the sharp twists from laughter to tears to surprise; and perhaps his most perfect--certainly most moving--scene involves the older generation in bed.

Here, via lovely, elliptical dialog and the mere fragment of breast and scar, Diane Keaton and Craig T. Nelson leave us breathless and chastened. The entire cast comes through splendidly, with Rachel McAdams adding yet another fine--and different--performance to her many over the past several years. "The Hot Chick, "Mean Girls," "The Notebook," "Red Eye" "Wedding Crashers" and the wonderful Italian film "My Name is Tonino": Miss McAdams is racking up quite a resume!

Viewers either seem to love or hate "The Family Stone." I would consul giving it a chance before you shut down. Yes, the family appears to close in unfairly against the Parker character, who herself seems at first uptight and impossible. But real people are deeper than initial impressions. So is this lovely film.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.11)
47 Votes
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