Family Stone

Family Stone

3.9 27
Director: Thomas Bezucha

Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Dermot Mulroney

     
 

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A woman meets her future in-laws and discovers they don't much care for her in this comedy from writer and director Thomas Bezucha. Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) is a successful young businessman who is dating Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker), and has asked her to spend Christmas with his family, with plans to ask his mother, Sybil (Diane Keaton), for the… See more details below

Overview

A woman meets her future in-laws and discovers they don't much care for her in this comedy from writer and director Thomas Bezucha. Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) is a successful young businessman who is dating Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker), and has asked her to spend Christmas with his family, with plans to ask his mother, Sybil (Diane Keaton), for the titular family wedding band and propose to Meredith on Christmas Day. Meredith is more than a bit nervous about meeting Everett's folks, and things only get worse when they arrive -- Meredith is by her nature straight-laced and a bit uptight around strangers, while Sybil and family patriarch Kelly (Craig T. Nelson) are free-thinkers who, except for Everett, have raised a family of cheerfully rebellious children, most notably younger daughter Amy (Rachel McAdams), older brother Ben (Luke Wilson), and adopted sibling Thad (Tyrone Giordano), who is both deaf and gay. Meredith and the Stone family do not get along well at first, especially Sybil, who is appalled at the prospect of Everett giving Meredith the family's heirloom wedding ring; in dire need of moral support, Meredith asks her younger sister, Julie (Claire Danes), to join her for Christmas with the Stones. However, the plan runs into a snag when Everett's head is turned by pretty Julie, and Meredith finds herself on the receiving end of attention from slobby Ben.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A marvelous ensemble cast can often turn familiar Hollywood product into a surprisingly refreshing entertainment; and such is the case with The Family Stone, which features A-listers Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Claire Danes, and Luke Wilson alongside such strong character actors as Craig T. Nelson and Dermot Mulroney. An oil-and-water family reunion sets the scene as uptight career woman Meredith Morton (Parker) accompanies her boyfriend, Everett Stone (Mulroney), to his family home for Christmas. Meredith feels ill at ease among his freewheeling parents (Keaton and Nelson) and eccentric siblings, and when the inevitable blow-up occurs she begs her sensible sister (Danes) to spirit her away. And in the tradition of act-one setups, that's when things really get interesting, leading to a Christmas morning the family Stone will never forget. Writer-director Thomas Bezucha may be too eager to stuff disparate elements and characters into the film, but his players save the day with their finely tuned performances and expert comic delivery. Wilson, playing Everett's laid-back brother, sidles into the leading-man slot quite effortlessly, while Rachel McAdams, as a shrewish sister, just about steals every scene she's in. A third-act revelation, intended to be startling, won't catch any viewer by surprise, but its aftermath makes for a poignant denouement. The Family Stone may not always hit the mark, but its mixture of good-hearted warmth and laughs ensure its future as a perennial in the tradition of Jodie Foster's underrated Home for the Holidays.
All Movie Guide
The good news? Sylvester Stallone never makes an appearance. The bad news? After some early indications it might do so, The Family Stone doesn't break the mold for holiday family dysfunction movies. However, it does end up being a pretty satisfying version of one. Writer/director Thomas Bezucha has clearly studied what other films in this genre have done well -- and, more importantly, what they haven't done well. Bezucha really has his holiday fruitcake and eats it too, concocting zany scenarios that never test the patience of viewers justifiably wary of this sort of thing -- viewers who were disappointed with Jodie Foster's Home for the Holidays, for example. It's the details of Bezucha's writing that surprise, such as the casual fact that one of the Stone sons is both deaf and gay -- a plot element that steadfastly avoids becoming a hot-button contrivance. Another curveball: Bezucha places this family in a wintry storybook world out of any small town, then makes them unrepentant liberals, who sanction intergenerational pot smoking and talk with whimsical earnestness about wishing they had more gay children. Of course, it would be foolish to discount how the talented cast helps sell the material. Any time the movie threatens to careen off course, it's propped up by Diane Keaton's passionate matriarch, Rachel McAdams' eye-rolling baby sister, or Luke Wilson's goofy layabout, always cementing their familial bonds through believable chemistry. Less probable support comes from Craig T. Nelson as the affably passive dad, and even Sarah Jessica Parker salvages the film's most exaggerated character, the frosty conservative who infiltrates their latter-day commune. Bezucha stumbles by milking the final scene for way too long, but The Family Stone still gets the balance right for a superior multiplex holiday offering -- unpredictable enough to be funny, familiar enough to be comfortable, touching enough to be sentimental.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/02/2006
UPC:
0024543234142
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
PG13
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:43:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary by stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Dermot Mulroney; Audio commentary by writer/director Thomas Bezucha, producer Michael London, editor Jeffrey Ford and production designer Jane Ann Stewart; 6 deleted scenes with optional writer/director and editor commentary; Fox movie channel presents casting session with the cast at the screen actors guild theatre; Outragous gag reel; "Morton family strata" recipe & more

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sarah Jessica Parker Meredith Morton
Luke Wilson Ben Stone
Dermot Mulroney Everett Stone
Claire Danes Julie Morton
Diane Keaton Sybil Stone
Rachel McAdams Amy Stone
Craig T. Nelson Kelly Stone
Elizabeth Reaser Susannah Stone Trousdale
Tyrone Giordano Thad Stone
Brian J. White Patrick Thomas
Paul Schneider Brad Stevenson
Jamie Kaler John Trousdale
Savannah Stehlin Elizabeth Trousdale
Robert Dioguardi David Silver
Christopher Parker Inn Receptionist
Carol Locatell Jeweler
Michael Pemberton Bus Driver One
Jill Remez (Voice)
Ginna Carter Jittery Cashier
Gus Buktenica Bartender
Ron Wall Bus Driver Two
Tim Simonec Conductor

Technical Credits
Thomas Bezucha Director,Screenwriter
James Bolt Sound Mixer
Connie Brink Special Effects
Jonathan Brown Cinematographer
Joe Camp Asst. Director
Derek Casari Action Director
Judy Chin Makeup
Billy Coleman Camera Operator
Linda S. Cormany Costumes/Costume Designer
Shay Cunliffe Costumes/Costume Designer
David E. Diano Camera Operator
Jeffrey Ford Editor
Kelcey Fry Makeup
Michael Giacchino Score Composer
Ira Hammons Costumes/Costume Designer
Lori Harris Costumes/Costume Designer
Don J. Hewitt Stunts
Jerry Holway Camera Operator
Mark Jackson Camera Operator
Timothy Kirkpatrick Art Director
Khristina Kravas Associate Producer
Michael London Producer
Fionnuala M. Lynch Costumes/Costume Designer
Mindy Marin Casting,Co-producer
Matthew Mungle Makeup Special Effects
Jennifer Ogden Executive Producer
Janet Paparazzo Stunts
Mathew Price Sound Mixer
Cynthia C. Rebman Set Decoration/Design
Amy Elise Roberts Costumes/Costume Designer
Narciso Rodriguez Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Rogers Stunts
Mam Smith Stunts
Jane Ann Stewart Production Designer
Sally Thornton Set Decoration/Design
Clark Tucker Stunts
Elliot Tyson Sound Mixer
Mario R. Ventenilla Art Director
Dan Wallin Sound Mixer
Timothy Wegman Costumes/Costume Designer
Jeff Wexler Sound Mixer
Carla White Makeup

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Family Stone
1. This is Meredith [:26]
2. Main Titles [1:09]
3. Home [1:25]
4. All About Meredith [2:23]
5. You Have Nice Shoes [2:55]
6. Separate Bedrooms [1:23]
7. All Hail! [2:43]
8. Lantau Island [1:57]
9. Fourth Word? [1:39]
10. Wish I Were Different [2:06]
11. Of Course You Do [2:33]
12. She Called Her Sister? [2:04]
13. Grandma's Ring [2:01]
14. Who Else Knows? [:28]
15. Julie [3:20]
16. Dinner [4:04]
17. Freak Flag [:42]
18. A Hole in His Heart [4:58]
19. Brad Dance with Me! [1:34]
20. Apologies [2:00]
21. Ben's Dream [7:44]
22. A Merry Little Christmas [:17]
23. Here We Go [2:29]
24. Try It On [4:06]
25. Something for Everyone [:26]
26. The Bitch from Bedford [1:22]
27. Strata [2:04]
28. Sorry for Everything [1:09]
29. Stay [3:30]
30. Repeat the Sounding Joy [2:52]
31. A Very Good Tree [4:37]
32. End Titles [:29]

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