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.
Everett Stone, who made it on Wall Street, returns home for Christmas with his bride Meredith Morton. His ultra-liberal, anti-conventional rustic Connecticut family doesn't exactly warm to the outsider, who despite her best efforts to please prospective in-laws looks, sounds and acts like the conservative bigots they hate, while various Stones have their own problems. Only matriarch Sibyl Stone's unshakable maverick other son Ben gives her a chance, and as Everett won't actively turn against either, she feels more supported by him and a weird romance blossoms. feeling beleaguered, Meredith calls in help from her easygoing sister Julie, who proves no help to her but soon develops a chemistry with Everett, so everything may now shift if they dare follow their hearts.Written by
The photo that Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) gives to all of the family members of a pregnant young Sybil is actually a picture of young Diane Keaton. However, Keaton has never been pregnant and the photo was edited to make her look so. See more »
When Ben is telling Meredith not to dilly dally, his shirt is outside of his pants. Then when he is talking to Everett it is tucked inside his pants. See more »
Fooled Around and Fell in Love
Written and Performed by Elvin Bishop
Courtesy of Universal Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
Talented actors have fun with a familiar premise
The premise of "The Family Stone" sounds a little shopworn: Everett Stone brings his uptight girlfriend Meredith home for Christmas to meet his large family, who instantly dislike her. Even worse, the trailer reveals most of the plot's complications. However, this premise has been used so often because it reliably provides opportunities for comedy, drama, and insight into family dynamics. "The Family Stone" proves itself a better-than-average example of the genre because of its talented cast and reasonably intelligent script.
Sarah Jessica Parker's presence ensures that Meredith always remains sympathetic, even when we can also perfectly understand why she irritates the Stones. The various Stones-- Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Dermot Mulroney, Rachel McAdams, Luke Wilson--make the most of their roles, and, more importantly, they really do start to seem like a family, not a random collection of actors. The only actor who fails to make an impression is Claire Danes, who can't do much with the underwritten role of Meredith's sister Julie.
"The Family Stone" is not a groundbreaking movie, but it goes beyond the fish-out-of-water clichés that its plot might suggest. It finds the emotional truth, as well as the humor, in Meredith's situation. Plus, it's extremely evenhanded: all of the characters are flawed but likable, and in a climactic argument at the dinner table, both Meredith and Sibyl make valid points. Reviewers on this site have accused the movie of pushing a liberal agenda via its sympathetic portrayal of an interracial gay couple and a semi-bohemian family--and of pushing a conservative agenda via its portrayal of the Stones as hypocritical liberals who pay lip service to tolerance but are prejudiced against people like Meredith. Personally, I'm not sure if "The Family Stone" has any agenda, other than to cast good actors in a holiday comedy-drama that doesn't insult its audience's intelligence. And it succeeds pretty well at that.
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