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
Writer and Director Thomas Bazucha put the nine cast members playing the Stones through several weeks of rehearsal so they would bond well enough off-camera to convincingly portray a family. This included a crash course in American Sign Language, as eight of the nine characters would be called upon to utilize American Sign Language in the script to either communicate with or interpret for the character of Thaddeus (Ty Giordano). While some critics, and the cast members themselves, pointed out that their American Sign Language use was sub-par, it was actually a realistic portrayal of a hearing family's use of the language, which is often perfunctory at best. See more »
When Meredith gives each of the Stones the framed photograph of a formerly pregnant Sybil, every one is in a somewhat plain black frame with a small white matte. Assuming that one of those frames (most likely the one gifted to Sybil and Kelly directly) was intended to be the one hanging next to the family Christmas tree in the final shot of the film, one can see that these are two totally different sized, matted, and designed fames. The one at the end is a much larger, more ornate frame with a sizeable black matte. Clearly, they could have had the picture re-framed in the ensuing year, but we can infer that each was identical during the gifting scene because of their uniform wrapping and the fact that we see more than one of them opened on screen, and all are the same. See more »
Despite Bait and Switch Trailer, STONE Cold Good Cinema!
***** This Review May Contain MINOR Spoilers! *****
The Previews of The Family Stone seemed to hold out the promise of a genuinely light and thoroughly amusing comedy, perhaps a bit over-the-top, but focused on the cultural differences between a very liberal family, (giving the impression that the parents were, perhaps, "Hippies" back in the 60's) and a super-conservative and tightly wound woman, engaged to one of their sons.
The problem is that the film showcased in the theatrical trailer plus the marketing campaign launched to promote it, vs. the actual movie you see in the theater have absolutely nothing in common! Unfortunately, previews sole raison d'etre apparently is to get people into the theater. It doesn't seem to matter in the least to these people if the expectation generated by the short is totally out of sync with the experience given by the film.
Thusly, it is easy to understand the plethora of reviewers who were livid with these bait and switch tactics! At its core, Family Stone is much more of a serious film that attempts to underscore the importance of cohesive family life, and how family unity can overcome obstacles that initially seem insurmountable, such as sharing and then getting over the pain of the loss of one of their own.
The cast is remarkable. Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Dermot Mulroney, Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Craig T. Nelson. Almost all of them renowned actors, who conform a superb ensemble cast. If you enjoy family dramas with a healthy dose of comic relief, Family Stone is far and away better than most films of its kind
Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
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