‘The Family Stone’: A Christmas Meet the Family Comedy. A review of the 2005 ensemble film with Luke Wilson, Sarah Jessica Parker and more. Text © Rissi JC

‘The Family Stone’: A Christmas Meet the Family Comedy

September 29, 2011 No Comments

The Stone’s are the kind of neighbors everyone gets along with. Sure, they’re a little quirky, but they’re the most interesting family on the block. Favorite and most successful son, Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) is about to head home for Christmas and his family is in a flurry of anticipation for his return.

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Accompanying him is his uptight businesswoman girlfriend, Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker); the plan is to propose to Meredith during the annual holiday gathering. Being back home with his siblings and parents (Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson) puts Everett on edge, especially when his family begins taking their dislike of Meredith too far. His go-with-the-flow sisters Amy (Rachel McAdams) and Susannah (Elizabeth Reaser) instantly clash with Meredith’s more rigid personality. This makes everyone a little blind to what Everett sees in Meredith. His brother Ben (Luke Wilson) however is the one person who really likes Meredith.

Overwhelmed by this wacky and large family – and their intense hatred of her, Meredith begs her little sister to come for the
duration of her stay with the Stone’s. Julie (Claire Danes) agrees just in time to save Meredith’s sanity. Instead, Julie’s arrival changes every one of the dynamics in an already crowded house.

The Family Stone (2005) Film Review

I cannot believe that I am actually going to say this, but I did like this movie. The fact that it tries to impress “acceptable” Hollywood and cultural practices on us is annoying but the movie actually has a lot of heart despite this. Because this is a kind of dysfunctional family “issues” drama, there is a lot of jokes dealing with that but the fact that they do like each other comes through. The end is somewhat unusual (reflective) but its quiet poignancy shows a familial closeness, and more importantly, everyone will be okay.

To master the balance between heartwarming traditions and hilarious is quite the feat. In the case of the familial story, the Stone’s are messed up – really messed up. Throughout the story, Meredith is the subject of various misunderstandings and mean tricks, which becomes important to the plot. Amy is terrible; Ben is kind of the lovable loser; and Sybil refuses her son’s one request because it includes Meredith. It’s too bad the movie didn’t use a bit more discretion because much like The Holiday or The Back-Up Plan, there is something underneath.

The Family Stone is a movie set against a Christmas backdrop which I guess means the Christmas season is started here. Not only does this have some really great story-telling (the script really is engaging), there’s some fabulous acting, too. The Family Stone isn’t the most wholesome feature film, but there is something about it that’s entertaining. And that counts for something.  

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find The Family Stone digitally on Amazon Video

From 2005, this ensemble comedy features Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Sarah Jessica Parker. ‘The Family Stone’: A Christmas Meet the Family Comedy. #FWArchives #Movies #Comedy #FunnyMovies Click To Tweet

Content: homosexuality is very prevalent. It comes up in conversations [one brother has a “partner”] and nearer the end, a same-sex couple adopt. There’s various crude references, including one about Amy’s virginity, and everyone has a casual attitude about sex. Profanity includes sh*t, da*n, etc. Additionally there’s a couple of references to drugs and Ben takes Meredith out for a night of drinking. The camera briefly shows a mastectomy surgical scar. The movie is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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