An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.
The Stone family unites in common cause when their favorite son brings his uptight girlfriend home for the Christmas holiday, with plans of proposing. Overwhelmed by the hostile reception, she begs her sister to join her for emotional support, triggering further complications. Written by
I was sure that I would enjoy this movie, given its stellar cast and funny trailer. I thought it would be a heartwarming movie about misunderstandings and the mutual awkwardness of meeting your in-laws.
What the trailers left out was the fact that the family hates their prospective daughter-in-law Meredith without ever giving her a chance. That they are irritating people who use their gay deaf son and his black husband to bait outsiders into saying or doing presumably bigoted things. (I'm fine with the fact that diversity is represented here, but I hate how dialogue about that diversity is squelched instead of brought out.) That despite their violent hatred toward intolerance, they are some of the most deeply prejudiced, intolerant, vicious, unsympathetic people of all. And their prideful malice is directed toward an obviously insecure woman with no real faults other than being overly concerned about making a good impression. Let's get one thing straight. Having annoying tics does not make someone a bad person. Being uptight does not make someone a bad person (think Monica on Friends).
Throughout the movie I was waiting for Meredith to get her comeuppance, like Ben Stiller's character does in Meet the Parents. It never really comes. Instead, she learns to be more like them, and they basically get away with what they want. The lesson is, gang up on people who are different than you, and they'll come around.
I truly want to know why some people have such nice things to say about this movie. None of the characters is likable or even realistic. They are rude and unfriendly to whomever they want, and cloyingly sweet and warm with each other. They judge the new girl based on appearances and social class, and make no attempt to hide it. And the women especially are cliquish, bullying, belittling, and can strip down any shred of self-worth she may feel. And the cruelest of them all is played by Rachel McAdams.
Wait a minute, this is starting to sound familiar ...
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