Monday, December 14, 2009

The Family Stone

Meredith Morton & Everett Stone are a socialite couple in Manhattan, but when Everett takes Meredith home for Christmas she clashes with his family so badly that Meredith refuses to stay at the house and calls her sister Julie in to help her out. While Everett tries to convince his mother to give him his grandmothers engagement ring so he can propose to Meredith the rest of the family becomes more and more sure that Everett & Meredith should not get married.

The Family Stone is a film I really wanted to see because of the cast. There are great actors littered throughout this film and all of them are actors that I enjoy greatly. However, I was very disappointed in The Family Stone.

While watching The Family Stone I got the impression that the film thought it was a quirky comedy with a slightly dark underlining. However, I almost didn’t get through more than half an hour of The Family Stone because the film is downright angry and depressing. These characters are really horrible people. Without any explanation more than one or two lines of dialogue you find out one character dislikes Meredith and the rest of the Stone family (who has never met her) immediately begins to hate on her. After about half a movie of being a really boring person Meredith turns out to be downright insulting and continues to say really horrible things to members of the family or scream at people. Not a single character in this film is developed or likeable. The only reason I watched the entire film is because I felt the need to see if possible the ending redeemed the film. It doesn’t.

The ending of the film is almost worse than the rest of the film. It’s a complete and total cop out. Again the writing and direction leave much to be desired. Rather than finding a way to motivate all of our characters into their conclusion a few lines of dialogue are delivered about couples breaking up, other couples share longing looks and then we flash to the next Christmas where all the issues are magically resolved and we’re never told how or why.

No family real or fictional can solve the kind of problems the Stone family had that Christmas in the course of twelve months. It’s just not possible, especially after the rest of the film built up nothing but an intense hatred for Meredith.

I know I’ve probably insulted a ton of people that absolutely adore this holiday movie and think I’m completely wrong in my analysis. To those I say this: can you tell me why these characters deserved an hour and half of my time?

Director & Writer: Thomas Bezucha
Julie Morton: Claire Danes
Sybil Stone: Diane Keaton
Amy Stone: Rachel McAdams
Everett Stone: Dermot Mulroney
Kelly Stone: Craig T. Nelson
Meredith Morton: Sarah Jessica Parker
Ben Stone: Luke Wilson
Thad Stone: Tyrone Giordano
Patrick Thomas: Brian J. White
Susannah Stone Trousdale: Elizabeth Reaser

Meredith: What's so great about you guys?
Sybil: Uh, nothing... it's just that we're all that we've got.

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