An emotionally bland Christmas movie that has you wishing the main character would shrivel up and die and happy that at least Claire Danes provides something to look at, "The Family Stone" is a decent but never memorable film that has a lot of talent but not much to show for it.
The movie takes a look at Dermot Mulroney, who plays Everett Stone, bringing his new uptight girlfriend Sarah Jessica Parker home for the holidays. Unfortunately, his sister, played by Rachel McAdams, already hates her guts, and the rest of the family, including Diane Keaton and Craig T. Nelson as the parents, aren't too warm to her, either. The only one who shows any interest in being kind is Luke Wilson - which requires Parker to call upon her sister Claire Danes for backup, only Danes attracts the attention of Mulroney, who is her sister's boyfriend. You can see where this one is going...
So, obviously, "The Family Stone" has a good cast, but what's there to show for it? In fact, I glazed over so much that I completely missed the part where Dermot Mulroney realizes that his girlfriend is an annoying bitch and falls in love with her sister, and the sister reciprocates. Hey, smart move for Mulroney - Claire Danes is much hotter. Anyway, the movie struggles to hold your interest, even if there isn't anything remarkably bad about the picture.
What's worst about the movie is that Sarah Jessica Parker's character just isn't likeable, and things start out with her as the main character. The story shifts later on, but her character is just so stupid and obnoxious it's impossible to relate to or even appreciate her situation. On top of that, actors like Diane Keaton are wasted - she usually holds up so well in these kinds of comedies, but she just isn't funny here.
"The Family Stone" isn't a bad movie by any means, except that it is boring, uninspiring and features few if any characters that we actually can care about.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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