Friday, January 06, 2006

Movie Report: The Family Stone

I predict that in 25 years, "The Family Stone" will have replaced "It's a Wonderful Life" as the traditional holiday movie that everyone watches on television. It's just as schmaltzy, but with a modern twist. I've always liked Diane Keaton as an actress, and think that she has gotten better as she has gotten older. I loved her movie last year, with Jack Nicholson, "Something's Gotta Give," and "The Family Stone" is even better.

The Stone Family is a large, quarrelling, loving family. Critics can fault it, rightfully, as being a little too pc, but it's the type of movie that you go see if you want to be entertained, not expand your artsy fartsy horizons.

I hate to even summarize the plot because it sounds so predictable, and the whole of the movie overcomes the weaknesses of its components. A barebones summary is that a son, trying to rise in the business world bring his uptight girlfriend home to meet his family, which consists of mother, father, two other boys and two girls. The girlfriend's too-earnest efforts to fit in result in disaster. There is some hidden tragedy in the family that is gradually exposed. In the end, everyone ends up with the right mate, and they all mourn a loss. I gave it four stars and if you don't see it in the theater before it leaves town, don't sweat it. You'll see it on television. A lot.

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