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The Family Stone (DVD)

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    16 Reviews
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      20.05.2010 23:48
      Very helpful




      'The Family Stone' is another brilliant film I've watched a few hundred times full of tears & laugher from start to finish with an all star cast! :)

      The Stone family are very close & meet up for Christmas every year - this time Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney - 'The Wedding Date') is bringing along his new girlfriend Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker - 'Sex and the City'). Things don't quite go to plan when frosty & uptight Meredith isn't quite accepted by the Stone family & is particularly disliked by Everett's sister Amy (Rachel McAdams - 'Wedding Crashers'). Meredith calls on her sister Julie (Clare Danes - 'Romeo & Juliet') for support - Julie is nothing like Meredith & is instantly loved by all!!

      Meredith storms off after a big family meal ends in disaster - Ben (Luke Wilson - 'Legally Blonde') follows Meredith, they end up in a bar catching up with Ben's school friends & get a little bit drunk.
      Everett & Julie go out to find Meredith & Ben - they get to talking, it seems they have a lot in common & their feelings for each other become clear.

      The following day everyone is re-united & a few shocking revelations are revealed. Amy & Ben both find love (Awwwww) - but in who?
      Certainly worth a watch! :)

      This film was released in 2005. Rating 12 - contains mild bad language, sex and drug references.


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        27.10.2009 15:30
        Very helpful
        1 Comment



        Great festive film

        ** The Plot **

        The Stone family are a very close one, and when one of the sons brings home his new girlfriend for Christmas, you know she is going to be put under some scrutiny.

        Sybil Stone (Diane Keaton) is the mum of the family and takes great pride in all of her children. Her husband Kelly (Craig T Nelson) seems to be the one to keep her from becoming a bit too overbearing and the one who welcomes their son, Everett's (Dermott Mulroney) girlfriend into the family.

        Everett decides it's the time to introduce his family to his girlfriend Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker) and so they travel up there at Christmas. Meredith is quite uptight and finds it hard to relate to the family who are relaxed. One of the reasons is that she didn't quite hit it off with Everett's sister Amy (Rachel McAdams) when she came to stay.
        Some problems arise with some cringe worthy moments ensuing.

        Meredith calls on her sister Julie (Clare Danes) to come and help her which leads to a rather unusual love triangle or maybe rectangle!

        ** My Opinion **

        I love Christmas and this film, to me, is perfect for the festive season. For such a simple plot line it is absolutely brilliant. The simple story of introducing a girlfriend to the family could have been quite mundane and boring, but the introduction of the various different characters from the over protective mum, through to the stuck up girlfriend and the snotty sister bring it to life. The fact that the characters are not over-played is great, they are not too animated they are, to a point, quite normal people that you or I could know, which makes it so easy to relate to.

        There are brilliantly funny moments and also some very sad and tender moments which make this film such a great story. Each character has a story to tell and such an intricate part of the story as a whole. The ending is very American Pie to a point, but with something that I didn't expect and I will leave unsaid as its quite a poignant part of the film.


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          12.08.2009 23:24
          Very helpful
          1 Comment



          Not bad but not great

          The family Stone was released in 2005 by 20th Century Fox and is a comedy/ drama film. It is rated 12 due to mild bad language, sex references and drug references and is 98 minutes long.

          Christmas time is a big thing for the Stone family because they all get together, no matter where they were. This year however, they have a guest. Everett's girlfriend Meredith ventures out of her executive life in New York to spend Christmas with his family. Meredith is quite uptight and conservative which a complete contrast to Everett's family.

          Everett's family
          Everett's mum Sybil is a bohemian dealing with a fatal illness who doesn't want Everett to give Meredith the family heirloom for an engagement ring. His dad is an architect.

          Thad is deaf and gay and has a black partner. He is also an architect.

          Ben is a stoner who is very laid back and makes documentaries.

          Susannah has one child and is expecting her second.

          Amy has met Meredith before, took an instant dislike to her, and makes an effort to make things uneasy for her.

          Meredith feels so out of place and unwanted so she invites her sister Julie to come and help her out but things don't really work out the way everyone expected them to.

          Sarah Jessica Parker as Meredith Morton
          Dermot Mulroney as Everett Stone
          Claire Danes as Julie Morton
          Diane Keaton as Sybil Stone
          Craig T. Nelson as Kelly Stone
          Rachel McAdams as Amy Stone
          Luke Wilson as Ben Stone
          Tyrone Giordano as Thad Stone
          Elizabeth Reaser as Susannah Stone Trousdale
          Brian J. White as Patrick Thomas
          Paul Schneider as Brad Stevenson

          Memorable quotes
          Ben: Calm down. You've been drinking Cokes all day.

          Ben: I'd want a little black baby.
          Everett: You already have a little black baby.
          Ben: Can ya dig it!

          Meredith: I love the gays!

          Sybil: Christmas is not "clothing optional" this year - we have a guest.

          My opinion
          What mainly drew me to this film was the cast. I was having one of my long browses through HMV, saw this on offer for £3, and thought with so many big names, it can't be bad. The family Stone is a lovely Christmas film filled with giggles and feel good moments.

          Although I've heard people describe the story boring and uninteresting, I thought it had plenty of warmth and many different little aspects to it. There are some serious parts, a really nice family story of morality with quite a few funny parts.

          Even though the cast drew me in, I thought so many big actors might have over powered the story. All of the characters had something different to offer and they all had different personalities. Meredith is supposed to come across as stern and boring but I thought she was really funny at times and Sarah Jessica Parker was great for someone who is so well known for playing Carrie in Sex and the city. I know she was supposed to get more likable as the film went on but I liked to straight away. I thought she was the one character that seemed so real to start with.

          Rachel McAdams played a fantastic bitch. I'd seen her before in Mean Girls and wondered if she could pull off the same role as an adult and really impressed me. I guess if I didn't like my sister's boyfriend, I would definitely let him know about it and not act all nicey-nicey around him. Ok, I wouldn't probably be that mean to him but I really understood where she was coming from.

          Luke Wilson plays a great stoner. I've seen quite a few comedies with him in before and I thought his role as Ben was quite different. While being a bit silly at times, he still came across as unbelievable lovable. He is charming, selfish and nice all at the same time and where I would normally see this as being sleazy; there was nothing he could do to make me dislike him. I wanted to take him home.

          I know the writers tried to include someone for everyone but it just seems like they were trying too hard. Although I liked everyone as individuals, they were just too much to handle all at the same time, which thankfully doesn't happen too much.

          What I thought was very original about this film was the fact that there isn't really a good guy and a bad guy. Each character at times is really nice, but then they can also be pretty mean when they don't agree with something or something doesn't go their way. The Stone family are supposed to come across as the bad guys because they are so mean and unwelcoming to Meredith but it's not really their fault that they don't get on with her, it's not as if they have anything in common.

          Overall, I quite enjoyed this film. It wasn't the best rom-com I have ever seen but it certainly was entertaining. The story is quite interesting and funny and kept me amused throughout. The cast is impressive and no one really disappointed me acting wise. I'm glad I got this so cheap though because I wouldn't have wanted to pay much more for it.


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            11.08.2009 14:26
            Very helpful




            I first saw this film on a plane on the way to Tenerife and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was just what I needed to get me through another four hour plane trip. The Family Stone was released in 2005 and was directed by Thomas Bezucha.


            Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) is returning home for the Christmas holidays to see his family and introduce is new uptight and conservative girlfriend Meridith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker) who is a successful Corporate Executive. The family of Stones are a more rambunctious family which is a sharp contrast to that of Meridith. Due to Meridith's frosty demeanor the family find it hard to warm up to her especially Everetts sister Amy (Rachel McAdams). Amy has previously met Meridith and took an instant dislike to her.

            Meridith feels more and more uncomfortable as the family continue to make her feel unwelcome so she rings her Sister Julie (Claire Danes) to come join her for support. This seems to make matters worse as the family immediately take to Julie and Meridith ends up feeling more of an outsider. It takes alot of beer and two shocking romances to change the course of the film. But will it be enough for Meridith to be accepted into the family!

            The Family of Stones consist of Mum, Dad, Everetts two sisters and two brothers.

            Sybil (Diane Keaton) is the loving and caring Mother who is the glue keeping the family together, she brings alot of emotion to the film as she is a sufferer of breast cancer which is terminal.

            Kelly (Craig T. Nelson) is the Stones Father, he is an Architech and is at outspoken and liberal minded as the rest of the family.

            Amy (McAdams) the younger sister who likes to cause trouble for Meridith by always trying to set her up for a fall. This is due to her taking an immediate disliking after meeting her in Manhattan.

            Thad (Tyrone Giordano) is Everetts gay and deaf younger brother who is in a relationship with Patrick (Brian J. White) who are in the process of adopting a child.

            Ben (Luke Wilson) is the laid back brother who likes to get high, he is documentary film writer and upon meeting Meridith he seems to be immediately attracted to her.

            Finally there is Susannah (Elizabeth Reaser) who is the older sister who has a daughter and has another child on the way.

            Each Charactor plays a great part and you could believe that they are actually a real family. There is plenty of friction and laughs which make for a great atmosphere.

            Sarah Jessica Parker does an excellent job of portraying a uptight executive with a spoon stuck up her a**. Added to her part is an annoying throat clearing thing she does when she is nervous which is immediately noticed by the rest of the family and one of the many things that irritate them. Whats funny is some of the things she does, when shes talking to Everetts brother Thad she shouts at him thinking he'll be able to hear her if she does

            The Soundtrack to the film is obviously very Christmassy, its has songs such as, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow. Jingle Bells and Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

            Special Features

            There is commentary by Sarah Jessica Parker and Dermot Mulroney. And also by the Director and the Producer. There are 6 deleted scenes which I cant comment on because I havent watched them. The Gag Reel is quite funny and its got a decent amount of content in it. I watched the Behind the Scenes featurette which is always nice to watch. You get to see what each cast member thinks of the film and the roles of the family.

            Also in the special features is the recipes that Meridith makes for the family which may be useful to some people. And one other thing on there is there are two easter eggs, which are hidden features. I have only found one so far and i'm not really sure what the point of hit was but maybe someone else watching it may know something I do.

            I recommend watching the question and answer featurette with Luke wilson, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes and Tyrone Giordano) it is absolutely hilarious.

            I really enjoyed this film, each charactor was great and the plot was very diverse and had something for everyone. I think my favourite had to be Ben played by Luke Wilson. Every now and again he just reminded me of Owen Wilson (I know their brothers), there acting is just really very similar.

            The film for me was nice to watch, its nice to see a close family unit and how although each person can be really different individually they still get on with each other really well as a whole. I have just watched this film again for the second time and I'm glad I did. Its not overly funny although there are a few moments that make you chuckle. Its also quite an emotional film and I found myself welling up every now and again whether it was a sad moment or a happy moment.

            Certificate 12
            Run Time 98 Minutes
            Amazon £3.58
            Play.com £3.99


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              18.07.2009 20:35
              Very helpful



              It's a wonderful life contender

              I bought the Family Stone for £4.99 from a small newsagents that had a small selection of previewed videos for sale. It was the all star cast that attracted me and on cover it says "Before she gets the ring she must survive the family!"

              ~So what's it all about?~

              Well in a nutshell, the eldest son of the Stone Family is bringing his girlfriend, and he hopes potential fiancee, to meet his parents and siblings for the Christmas Holidays.

              The Stone Family headed by Sybil (Diane Keaton) and Kelly (Craig T Nelson) with five adult siblings are a tight knit protective group that have intense pre-conceived ideas about their eldest, Everett's (Dermot Mulroney) choice of partner Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker).

              ~How does it open?~

              The story begins with the family arriving from all over the U.S to join together for Christmas.

              The house begins to fill with siblings:

              A heavily pregnant Susanna and her daughter Elisabeth who are later joined by Suannas husband (minor characters)

              Amy (Rachel McAdams) the youngest sister who is a teacher and has already met and judged Meredith as being a negative experience.

              Thad an architect and his partner Patrick who are very happy together and are looking to adopt in the new year. Patrick does most of the Christmas cooking. (minor characters)

              and Ben (Luke Wilson) a laid back designer who lives in Berkley

              Meredith and Everett drive in from Manhattan where Everett is hoping to run for office and Meredith is an ultra-conservative corporate executive. They meet with an uneasy reception as Meredith and the family attempt to suss each other out.

              Merediths ways tend to grate upon the family no matter what she does and Amy (McAdams) behaves spitefully towards her making her feel even more uneasy.

              Ultimately Meredith feels the need to call for some moral support in the form of her sister Julie (Claire Danes) and her arrival really spices up the situation.

              ~anything else?~

              We watch the family juggle around each other and overall there is a nice cosy feeling as it's set at Christmas. There are some deep overtones happening as Sybil (Keaton) and Kelly interact with all of their children on a very personal level. We also watch two separate love stories grow and develop adding intrigue to the story. It's truly like spending Christmas with this family and it includes drama, sadness and many lovely laughs.


              SJP plays Meredith Moreton perfectly. I have never though that SJP is a stunner but she definitely does know how to make the best of herself. She plays tough Manhattan lady perfectly and when she ends up letting her guard down we finally get to see a more relaxed character, prettier and less painful to watch.

              Throughout the film we watch Meredith trying so hard to impress and falling at every hurdle at times it's cringeworthy as we get to see everyones opinion of her personality and I really did enjoy the twist in her favour.

              Everett is possibly my least favourite character. Dermot Mulroney feels wooden and if i'm honest unconvincing in the role. His is not the easiest character here because he's at odds with his family and to some extents himself in the film. He comes across as a little weak and shallow for my taste.

              By comparison Everetts brother Ben, played perfectly by Luke Wilson seems the more self-aware and complete character. He is casual, confident and funny. I have often found Luke to be my favourite of the Wilson brothers, he seems more real and approachable. I like him here and I feel that he serves as the glue that knits the story together.

              The Mother and to some extents matriarch of this story is conveyed beautifully by Diane Keaton. She is desperate for her children to be happy and determined for them to not make mistakes. We later learn that there are further concerns behind her actions. I really like Keaton, she is warm and motherly and is very comfortable in this role. We do feel that we are at her home for Christmas, it's intimate and cosy.

              Craig T Nelson is wonderful as the father Professor Kelly Stone. He's insightful and protective of his brood in addition he has gentle power and this gives him the ability to commnd respect. It's funny the only other role I have seen him in is the comedy coach in Blades of Glory where he plays a very different kind of character, but I like him better here. He's natural as the head of the family.

              Rachel McAdams plays bitch to perfection. Amy really is the annoying little sister character but we do get to see so much more of her and by the end of the story we know that "bitch" isn't who she is. It a great character and she nails it perfectly as it's a true portrayl we do always talk about newcomers to the famiy behind their backs.

              Claire Danes joins later in the film as Meredith's sister Julie. She's pretty and supposedly interesting but I find her a little shallow and hypocritical. Her role in the story is my second least favourite. I see why she's necessary but I don't have to like her. I guess she does help to tie things up well but It's the weakest part of this tale.


              Set in the wintry family home at Christmas we get snow and a lovely traditional feel. Carols are played though the soundtrack and we see the family engaging in sit down dinners, dressing the tree, food perparation and games. Whenever I watch this it does make me feel festive and I like it as much as "it's a wonderful life" for making me feel warm and human.


              This film was utterly slated although SJP did get a Golden Globe nomination for her character. I don't care about either. This story gives me pure escapism, romance and joy. I find it poignant and life affirming and I have watched it several times. For the most part I like the characters and I am a sucker for Christmas anyway so this was going to be a winner from the outset but I surprised myself by just how much I enjoyed it. Its running time of 98 minutes means this story doesn't drag and has a juicy beginning, middle and end.

              The Family Stone will live in my collection for ever and I hope one day that I will be able to share it with my daughter. Even my husband found parts of this funny and although it's probably not a guys film there is a good message about the importance of family and support.


              Certification - 12

              Running Time - 98 minutes


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                30.12.2008 22:20
                1 Comment



                A good Christmas drama

                Take the Christmas themes, this movie was one good movie to be watched with family. The story was around the family members of the Stones, the conventional family which was having the annual family gathering in celebrating Christmas. The oldest brother (played by Dermott Mulroney) took his fiancee (Sarah Jessica Parker) to the family.
                The different culture, the shock, and the awkward situation brought the Christmas to the catasthrope. How the family get back the Christmas spirit?

                I can't say that this is one of my favorite movie, but I should admit that I like this movie though. The storyline was the smooth mixture between the comedy and family drama. Sarah Jessica Parker could bring the comedy and hilarious scenes in the movie. Along with Diane Keaton, this movie was something that worth to watch.
                I would recommend this movie for the family drama lover. But this movie was not for the family because of the romance scenes which I thought would not be suitable for kids consumptions.


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                  23.12.2008 10:08
                  Very helpful



                  Awesome comedy movie!

                  The Family Stone (2005)
                  Directing: Thomas Bezucha
                  Written by: Thomas Bezucha
                  Starring: Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Craig T. ,Nelson Sarah, Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson.
                  Running time: 103 mintues.
                  My rating: 10/10

                  Feel The Love!


                  The Stone Family prepares to the Christmas. As every year, they call all their family members together. Kelly is family chief and he have wife named Sybil. Also they have many sons, mostly sons. Because Sybil wanted, that all their sons are gays, but everything didn't go as planned. Anyway they also have one grandchild named Amy. When Stones family eldest son, brings his fiancée Meredith to meet a family, everything get out of the control. The Stones Family is happy and cheerful, but Meredith is exactly contrary. She never don't feel happy about her life. He is self- centered, uptight and he talks too much about her life. It seemed that no one cares about Meredith, so she decided to bring her sister to the house for help. But also there is another problem. Everett wants his grandmother wedding ring from his mother, but his mother doesn't agree with that.

                  My Experiences and Views:

                  I really liked this movie. Movie idea was great and everything was really well planned. Plot was really funny and interesting, but somehow it made me cry in the end. It was really hard to watch how everyone treated Meredith, but also it was really funny, because Meredith came out of these problems so funny and left from her so funny and weird impression. Everyone understood that Meredith was some weird type of people, but really she just wanted attention. Along this movie, you just can sit in your sofa and enjoy this humorous movie. I just couldn't stop watching it, it called me back to watch and really, it offered me a lot of interest. Movie end wasn't excepted, and it ended really nicely.

                  Every character has some talent in his own fashion. Everyone could make fun, except Meredith, as it seems at the beginning of this movie. My favorite actor in this movie was Luke Wilson. He acted as Ben Stone. He was some kind of wastrel and drinker. Also, when he arrived to The Stone house, his mother Sybil said: "There is no cannabis smoking this year". I really liked the way how he made fun. Beginning of this movie, It seemed to me, that he is some self centered drinker, who don't care about others. But really he was most helpful man in the family. He helped Meredith out of any problem and It was really nice from him. Anyway he also could make fun and he did it really well.

                  Other very nice actor was Tyrone Giordano. He is really unknown to me. I haven't seem him before, but he has some talent. He didn't play very much in this movie, but every scene where he played was really good and interesting. He was some kind of gay, but It didn't seem like that. He treated women really well and It seemed, that he spent more time with woman's. Some times he was also with his gay partner Patrick, but only a little time.

                  Also I really liked Meredith. She had great talent, and her performance was great. I liked how she came out of problems. It was really sad to watch, because every time it happened some kind of accident, but also it was really funny and interesting. I really enjoyed watching her. He was some kind of freak, who talked all the time and though and about herself only, but when he participated at party, she was really hot party monster. She was one of the best characters in this movie and she really made me laugh.

                  Really big thanks to Jonathan Brown, who took out every scene really well. As you know cinematography is really important thing about the movie. Everything depends of camera work and where from every scene has taken. Every scene was taken really well, and every scene was really funny, mostly because of camera work. If there are no cameras, there is no movie. Picture quality was great and contrast and brightness matched really well. And Jonathan Brown, directed his camera group really well and every scene came out really good.

                  Soundtrack is made by Michael Giacchino. Surely you haven't heard someone like that. But he can mix music really well. Every song adapted with this movie really well. As you already know, this movie is about Christmas and about Christmas events. Also in soundtrack, there were a lot of Christmas songs. There are really different song, some songs are romantic and some songs are more rocky.


                  In conclusion this movie is really interesting and funny. And I can say this is real masterpiece. I really like it. Surely it likes to everyone and everyone should enjoy that. There were really different scenes in this movie, some scenes are really funny, but some scenes were sad and romantic. Characters were great and did really good work in this movie; everyone had talent, except some characters, who acted like some amateurs. Soundtrack was great and befits with this movie. In my opinion, this was really good movie, with great plot, characters and soundtrack. I recommend this movie to everyone.


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                    06.12.2008 13:27
                    Very helpful



                    Its Christmas time : )

                    It's that time of year again, out come the baubles and the fairy lights, up goes the trees and the door reefs. The frantic trips trying to find the perfect present and the perfect turkey! Due to the festivity which is appearing round every corner I go I thought I'd have a nice hot chocolate topped off with lots of cream and which a good Christmas movie!
                    I only found the Christmas Stone after I saw the SATC movie at the cinema, I fancied watching the girls in action because I'm such a big fan. I'd never seen this advertised when it was released, never saw it on the shelves in the shops either, or maybe I did but it wasn't eye catching enough.

                    I will admit the first time I sat down to watch this, I fell asleep, but a second go was good enough for me to want to watch it again and again.

                    The Film...

                    Its Christmas time and everyone is heading home to their families for the holiday period. Everett Stone is taking his girlfriend Meredith Morton to his home for Christmas to meet the family.
                    The Stone family are a tight nit, quirky and protective family. They appear to need a bit of time to warm to Meredith before they can accept her into their clan. Yet it seems that Everett's youngest sister Amy is making sure that doesn't happen as she already has an immediate disliking towards Meredith.

                    Meredith is shown from the start to be a career woman, who appears to be rather uptight.
                    The Stone family consists of Sybil and Kelly Stone the parents of the clan. The two seem very family orientated, however they are keeping something from their children.
                    Everett, he is the eldest of the Stone Kids, he is portrayed as the perfect son.
                    Thad, is another one of the Stone boy, he is deaf and has a partner, Patrick who has been clearly accepted within the family.
                    Susannah, the eldest of the daughters, who has already got her own family, and is expecting another child.
                    Ben, the third and last of the Stone men, Ben is different to his other brothers, he is unmarried and very laid back.
                    and finally Amy, the youngest daughter, she is outspoken and comes across and a somewhat spoiled brat at times.

                    Meredith does not make a good first expression as it appears she is trying too hard. The family find her annoying and pretentious, however Ben seems to warm to Meredith straight away.
                    After trying to make an effort and getting nothing back but aggro and humiliation Meredith moves herself into the local inn and calls for her sister to come to her rescue.

                    Julie, Meredith sister is the exact opposite to Meredith and the family warm to her almost immediately, especially Everett. However everything boils over and Meredith finally cracks and flees the family home. Whilst out looking for her, everyone begin to reflect on their feelings and what they really want.
                    Main Cast..

                    Meredith Morton - Sarah Jessica Parker
                    Everett Stone - Dermot Mulroney
                    Ben Stone - Luke Wilson
                    Amy Stone - Rachel McAdams
                    Sybil Stone - Diane Keaton
                    Kelly Stone - Craig T. Nelson
                    Julie Morton - Claire Danes
                    Thad Stone - Ty Giordano
                    Patrick Thomas - Brian White

                    Many would find it boring as it is not as fast paced or sharp witted as other similar films such as Meet The Parents. However, it has that certain Christmas spark which just makes it lovable.
                    I really enjoyed this film, it was a lovely Christmas Romance film which will always deserve a place in my DVD collection.

                    Their are numerous funny parts in the film, emotional scenes which can bring a tear to the eye and heart warming Christmas moments.
                    I loved how the film included sign language, this added to the entertainment of the film, especially when Meredith declared to the family that she didn't know the language and simply talked louder!

                    This is a perfect Chick Flick, especially around Christmas time!! Its a simple movie which moves you a lot. It is very family orientated which makes it so warm and lovable.
                    Its a great cast, with a great mix of characters which makes the film seem very authentic, which adds to the comedy and emotions of the film.

                    Overall I really enjoyed this film and it will definitely be in my DVD player during this festive period. Its worth a watch, you might surprise yourself!!


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                      29.10.2008 22:23
                      Very helpful



                      An ok film to pass some time but is better for fans of the actors involved

                      I bought the family stone for one reason only and that was because the cast was a mix of well known faces! I know I should look for more than this but, being a Sex and the City fan I am always keen to watch anything with Sarah Jessica Parker in! Along with a variety of others who I have seen in other films and enjoyed then it was surely to be a winner wasn't it?
                      Released in 2005 the film was written and directed by Thomas Bezucha.

                      The story:
                      The stone family are very close knit and celebrate Christmas together every year. When the favourite son, Everett, decides to bring his girlfriend Meredith with him to meet his family it doesn't quite go to plan! He has plans to ask his mother for his grandmother's ring to propose to Meredith but, his family pretty much take an instant dislike to her and find Meredith to be too uptight for Everett. Desperate and needing support, Meredith calls on her sister Julie to come and help.
                      Things just seem to go from bad to worse though when the family end up really liking Julie and start to compare the sisters. Can Meredith ever really fit into the Stone family?

                      The cast:
                      As I said I chose this film mainly because of the cast who I have seen in lots of films and I pretty much like all of them! They are all very different in their role which gives the film a bit of diversity as they come across as this fun and close knit family. They are all quite down to earth and because Meredith is so uptight, they relish in making fun of her. The main cast are listed below -

                      Meredith - Sarah Jessica Parker
                      Everett - Dermot Mulroney
                      Julie - Clare Danes
                      Amy - Rachel McAdams
                      Sybil - Diane Keaton
                      Kelly - Craig T Nelson
                      Patrick - Brian J White
                      Thad - Tyrone Giordano
                      Ben - Luke Wilson
                      Susannah - Elizabeth Reaser

                      Quite a large main cast list but as you can imagine there is a certain way it is meant to come across in the film that this large family are very close knit and always get together at Christmas. I thought they all did pretty well considering and can't really fault anyone.

                      My DVD comes with a couple of extras which are -
                      Theatrical trailer
                      Cast and crew highlights

                      The cast and crew highlights is alright but nothing spectacular unfortunately and I never understand having a trailer of the film you are about to watch on the DVD but, it is there if you do like to see it! Not really the best but, I think there is a different edition to the one I have that you can buy which has a lot more extras on.

                      Overall opinion:
                      I like this film and think that it is ideal to watch at Christmas because of the theme. There is actually a lot more to the film than you first think from the main storyline which is good as it adds something extra to the film but generally the film is very easy to watch - it is slightly humorous but not laughs out loud type humour. It is not too long so you won't feel like it is dragging and if you're a fan of any of these actors then you'll probably enjoy it anyway! I think as a general film it would suit those who like something easy to watch that isn't too serious and not too silly. It's by all means not the best film you'll ever watch but it is certainly a nice way to pass a dreary afternoon or evening!

                      The film is rated 12 and is available to buy from various online and high street stores - expect to pay around the £5 mark


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                        16.08.2008 13:05
                        1 Comment



                        easy to watch comedy

                        I loved this movie, it was full of laughs and a very easy to watch movie.
                        The film has a great cast, from sarah jessicca parker, to diane keaton, and i have to say the acting is spot on. The film is all about a family, the stone family who come together at christmas time and all sorts of secrets and love issues are revealed. It doesnt sound that interesting but it sure keeps the gags coming, and i really did enjoy the way this film was made.

                        You see the family all getting together, but soon realise that they are not quite so close and very disfunctional. It is made worse when sarah jessica parkers character sets into the family as a newbie, having recently been engaged to one of the sons. This leads to hiliarious hassling from the family on the poor girl, and i though sarah jessica parker played the role very well. I felt awkward for her, it was realistic and the acting was great.

                        Id recommend this movie, its a loads of fun, easy going and will not dissappoint


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                          07.08.2008 18:51
                          Very helpful



                          Well worth watching for its unpredictable storyline and infectuous comedy moments.

                          I have always liked Diane Keaton and jumped at the chance to watch this drama comedy on one Sunday afternoon.
                          I also noticed from the trailers that Sarah Jessica Parker had quite a few comedy moments in her role as Meredith the new extremely uptight fiancé of Everett (Dermot Mulroney). Everett has brought Meredith home to meet his family for Christmas but nothing goes at all well when the entire group take an immediate dislike to her. Things for Meredith go from bad to worse when her sister Julie (Claire Danes) also joins the festivities only to be of no support as she actually gets on very well with The Family Stone.
                          I really enjoyed this movie, it had a great combination of drama and laughter, one often following the other directly which left you feeling emotionally drained at times. There was one part of the film however that I found just too uncomfortable and I am not sure I could watch again. It's a moment in the film when Meredith manages to put her foot in it big time at a family meal and the more she tries to recover the worse it gets to the point where everyone at the table including her fiancé disowns her.
                          Even though it may sound like a roller coaster, it all ends quite well and I really enjoyed it, but have your tissues ready.


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                          05.06.2008 22:53



                          christmas film

                          I got this DVD for when I was off after having my wisdom teeth out and I absolutely loved it, it was a slightly different film with a all star cast with Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes and Diane Keaton who all do a great job in this film there is not much more you want out of a Christmas film.
                          Sarah Jessica Parker plays Meredith an uptight business women who her and her boyfriend Everett played by Dermot Mulroney takes his new Fiancé home for the first time for the family Christmas where everything obviously does not go to plan as she meets Everett's mum played by Diane Keaton and dad played by Craig T. Nelson, along with many other brothers and sisters.
                          Meredith struggles to impress the family so Meredith recruits her sister Julie played by Claire Danes to help her to try to get on with the family. Unfortunately Everett's mum does not think Meredith is right for her son, which is where the battles commence and the drama's unfold as Meredith try to make an effort with the in-laws. The story in the end follows a path I could not imagine with Meredith ending up falling for Everett's brother and Everett falling for Meredith's sister Julie.

                          This is a lovely film with lots of great comedy moments and a heartbreaking couple too but it works so well and I think that everyone can relate to some part in this film.

                          I think that this is a great Christmas watch.


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                            23.11.2006 21:14
                            Very helpful



                            Underwhelming, pretentious melodrama

                            I do and I do not want to write a review of this film. I feel compelled to on some levels and cannot be bothered on others. Forgive the self indulgence if you want, if you have a high tolerance for self indulgence, who knows, you might actually enjoy this particular film on some level. If not, well you're in for a long, manipulative, maudlin, bumpy ride, with a couple of mild laughs along the way.

                            The film opens in NY, at Christmas-time. Everett (Dermot Mulroney, of many quality indie films and a growing number of crap major ones, two with the word "wedding" in the title) and his girlfriend Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker, of SATC fame) are shopping. It is established that Meredith is of the annoying uptight workaholic ilk; this is demonstrated by showing her yapping on her mobile phone non-stop for the first couple of minutes of the film. I have to wonder when this particular device will cease to be effective, as in reality now most people spend huge amounts of time on their mobiles this is really no longer a distinctive quality in human character. Also, as Everett is attempting to purchase a scarf, Meredith interrupts his purchase to tell the sales girl to get the red, not the hideous mustard yellow colour he is about to purchase. This, for me, is not a character flaw, but it is clear we are meant to be annoyed by her from the start.

                            We are transported to a lovely, snowy scene. A perfect American clapboard New England house comes into view. Aww pretty. I don't tell a lie, I'm a sucker for a pretty New England setting. Inside the house sits Diane Keaton, er Sybil, staring glumly at a Christmas ornament, lost in thought. The camera loiters on her long enough for any viewer to catch on IMMEDIATELY that something is very wrong. Aw crap.

                            The family slowly arrives, one by one we are introduced in a very unsubtle fashion to these quirky, liberal ragamuffins. First we have Thad, the deaf son, who apparently has brought his interpreter with him - oh wait no that's his lover; he is deaf AND gay, because one without the other would not be enough to establish the holy liberal goodness of this family. Now before I offend anyone, I am pretty much by the book liberal, but this kind of tokenism drives me nuts. The mere presence of this character is to make a point. He is never shown as anything but a cause for debate, which is lazy, self-back patting Hollywood at its worst.

                            Alrighty then, next we meet the other siblings, there is a pregnant, married sister with a baby (we don't see much of her really), the snarky, youngest sister Amy is played by up and comer Rachel McAdams, and then there is Ben, raffish stoner type we are told, played with immediate charm and charisma by Luke Wilson. Oh and the dad is played by Craig T. Nelson, of Poltergeist. So that's 1,2,3,4,5 kids- that's a big family. I'm a little confused already.

                            So here come Ben and Meredith, already we know the family hates her as the youngest sister has slagged her off to no end. To her credit, Sarah Jessica Parker inhabits this role very well, she shrinks at the overzealous hugging of this supposedly warm family, and from their behaviour so far I can't say I blame her. She is very stiff and uncomfortable, not unsurprising when 10 complete strangers are gaping at you like you're a circus freak if you ask me. She is very funny in her characterisation, the polar opposite of all of these touchy feely people in Everett's family.

                            Herein lies one of the central flaws of this film. Despite being uptight and yes a bit annoying, Sarah Jessica Parker's character is the one that immediately stands out as being the most real. Perhaps the director did this on purpose, but it creates an uneasy conflict that feels forced from the start. It is quickly clear that we will end up liking her. This is not the fault of SJP, but of some misguided and convoluted film-making. It results in finding the treatment of her by the rest of the family as immediately bullying and distasteful. Yet we are reminded we are supposed to like these people for some reason on a regular basis.

                            Part of this reminder is the underlying, unspoken at first, but quickly evident knowledge that the mother, Sybil, has recurrent breast cancer. I apologise if this is seen as a spoiler, but I do not think this element of the plot is any great secret in the film, it is made blatantly obvious from the start that the family is grieving this recent blow but not wanting to spoil Christmas with it. It cannot be ignored in a review of this film as it is one of the main themes and is used in what I found to be manipulative and fairly obvious ways throughout the film, whether to justify some of the characters' unpleasant behaviour, or to be downright mawkish. It is also unclear at first which family members know and which do not. Everett asks his mother for her grandmother's wedding ring (The Family Stone of the title) to propose to Meredith, which she refuses to give him as she doesn't think he and Meredith really love one another (she has a point there). However a lot of her issues with them are tied to her own illness and not wanting to leave any mistakes behind. She does not communicate this with him at first as he is one of the few (or the only one?) who doesn't know she is ill again.

                            While I don't argue that facing illness can bring out the worst in people, that fear and anger can get misguided in other ways, it is treated as completely justifiable in this film in such maudlin and manipulative ways that do nothing but reinforce stereotypes. All of the family's bad behaviour is meant to be excused by their sadness, this is unquestioned and taken as red. The mother's prognosis is not good, rarely is it ever good in films, which I am used to but still just once would like to be surprised or shown anything other than this one-note take on cancer. It is predictable to watch, supremely lazy and insulting to anyone who has ever dealt with or had a loved one with this illness, and for the life of me I cannot see how anyone could derive solace from it. Yes a good cry is nice in a film, but not when it is this calculated and cold in my opinion. Diane Keaton is fine as ever but she doesn't have an awful lot to do here besides remind us on a regular basis to be sad.

                            O.k. so far so bad. What are the good points of this film? Well as mentioned earlier, Sarah Jessica Parker is a real pleasure to watch. She has successfully cast off all of her Carrie Bradshaw mannerisms, and her character undergoes a genuine transformation here that is well worth watching for its' humour and heart. Luke Wilson as Ben is perfectly cast in a role that allows him to be seductive and unwitting at once. He is rakishly charming in his blatant affection for his brother's girlfriend Meredith; it is obvious he fancies her from the start. Somehow it doesn't seem slimy, the humour between the polar opposite characters is well played by both actors. Their chemistry is immediate and their scenes together were for me the highlight of the film.

                            This is in contrast to the complete lack of a real relationship portrayed between Everett and Meredith. I don't know what Dermot Mulroney was trying to do with this role, in the past I have found him to be a very believable actor. He just seems lost for something to do in this film, which makes the introduction of him at the start seem like a mistake as it gives the impression he is the main character. This is not solely his fault, as his character is defined as "not knowing himself" by his mother, but we are never given much cause to be interested in him. Claire Danes arrives as Meredith's sister Julie. She is, of course, Meredith's seeming complete opposite, warm (well, as warm as Claire Danes is capable of being) and so immediately taken into the family circle that we of course see what is happening here. She and Everett have a boring chat about totem poles and because it is snowing and Christmas we are meant to "get" that they belong together. Yawn.

                            So everything falls into place, the culmination of the "comedy" of errors on Christmas day resulting in slapstick confrontations and spilled food that in the trailer looked funny but in reality fall a bit flat. There is some release in Meredith's character becoming more fully realised, but overall I just felt a bit duped by the whole thing. Maybe it tries too hard to be all things to all people, the cast certainly suffers from this as they are by and large good actors. I just never bought for a moment that they were a real family.

                            Not much interaction between the siblings is ever shown, and it is difficult to portray the relationship of such a large group as a whole. I never cared about the family unit or saw them as anything other than self-righteous and smug, when they were obviously meant to be charmingly dysfunctional. Their relative perfection and love for one another is shoved down the throat throughout, this despite very little on screen that does not feel contrived. It's a shame, as it did have the potential to be something more, but the script wasn't strong enough to overcome the trite plot mechanisms and lazy self-satisfaction. A couple of fine performances unfortunately do not really make up for this, and would prevent me from ever wanting to sit through this film again.

                            This film runs at 102 minutes
                            Classification 12 there is not really any sex or bad language in this film

                            IMDB trivia, at one point it was titled "Hating Her", a far more apt title if you ask me.


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                              10.09.2006 17:33
                              Very helpful



                              A goo, if not great family dramedy

                              Everett is bringing Meredith home to meet the folks - she’s an uptight, self conscious and vulnerable business woman and they are a liberal, free living family unit. Sybil is the mother whose dying of cancer and trying to hide her pain, one of her sons is a deaf homosexual whose partner is black, Aimee is the sarcastic and mean youngest, Ben is the pot smoking, fun loving black sheep and the other daughter is a sensible mum type. Instantly disliking Meredith they decide to treat her appallingly - but through meeting her they discover the prejudices the family still hold and through learning to love her they help smooth over the cracks in their individual relationships. A strange twists of events throws the whole dynamic out of wack and a tragedy hit’s the very structure of the close knit group. But are their past ties strong enough to withstand even one of the hardest hits?

                              The Family Stone is a sweet, sentimental and often funny little holiday film but it just isn’t as enjoyable as it thinks it is and the ending will either fill you with Christmas cheer or depress you to high heaven. However, it should be applauded for its sharp writing, wonderful performances and Thomas Bezucha’s sensitive and touching handling of a familiar premise - together these elements make The Family Stone sweetly engaging and surprisingly adult. By the end of the film you will believe that this collection of complex, flawed characters are a family and you will probably care about what happens to them - each one is written with flair and the whole piece is unusually believable. Whilst I liked the production -and greatly respected it-, I don’t think that I would or could watch it again - it requires to much investment, is too emotionally draining and makes you think about things that you probably won’t want to be thinking about at Christmas time. Although it was advertised as a holiday comedy, The Family Stone is short on the laughs - the drama far outweighs the comedy elements and the comedy that is present is more personal and mature than your average slapstick fare. I can’t imagine anyone getting a true belly laugh from this film but the first half hour offers some giggles -due mainly to Sarah Jessica Parker’s impeccable comic timing- but from then on its all drama and sentiment -punctuated only occasionally with a bit of farce- which is watchable and admirably done - but not particularly family fare.

                              Perhaps the best thing about the Family Stone is watching the talented cast do what they do best - act with passion and intelligence, grace and believability whilst still inhabiting the characters with enough aplomb to keep them interesting. They are like a family - each one fits in perfectly, each bringing their own idiosyncrasies to the ensemble, interacting with genuine humour and affection for both their co-stars and the story they are telling. And its heart warming and surprising to see a group of such famous people acting without ego or pretension - they are normal people trying to make a family work, they feel awkward and upset and happy and together they make one of the best ensembles I have seen in a very long time. Sarah Jessica Parker really delights with her effortlessly funny, elegant and touching portrayal of Meredith the uptight new addition to the Stone clan , her comic timing is amazingly acute and when its time for her to do the drama bit she shows her substantial acting chops whilst proving herself as a viable romantic lead (which is good as after watching the shambolic Failure To Launch I had my doubt.) Diane Lanes heartbreaking performance as Sybil Stone is another highlight as she is confident with true screen presence and raw believability - her relationship with Craig T. Nelson is unspeakably tragic and his performance is equally heart wrenching. Rachael Mc Adam is a star on the rise and her funny and subtle performances as the acid tongued Amy will do her career no harm - both sarcastic and tender she swings hilarious to thought provoking without batting an eye.

                              The main problem I had with The Family Stone was that I hated the Stone’s I thought they were rude, offensive, unwilling to listen to others views and hateful - one scene where Meredith expresses her views about gay adoption is particularly revealing. Even though Sybil is apparently comfortable with her sons homosexuality she is ridiculously rude and damn right out of order when Meredith even hints that she has an opinion on the matter and when Meredith tries to justify her feelings she is shouted down! From the start they are obnoxious towards Meredith and make it plainly clear that they do not want her around and I felt sorry for her from the beginning to the end. In my opinion this takes away from the film because when the eventual ending came I didn’t actually feel for the characters as much as I should have - I didn’t believe that they had found any sort of redemption or gone through enough of a journey to counteract their appalling behaviour. Yes, they were in the midst of very personal tragedy - but to adopt the ‘lets strip down an already insecure person to nothing’ alienated me from them. However, I did care because they had been written so wonderfully - Aimee in particular was dreadfully mean but I found the eventually outcome of her character semi touching and well done. Each role has something to add to the film and most have the right balance of quirkiness and realism to be identifiable and intriguing.

                              I personally found the ending satisfying, haunting and thought provoking - but it certainly isn’t cheery and may leave some audience members feeling cheated out of a more uplifting finale. However, it is done with such talent and understanding that you kind of have of admire the way its done - the extreme control of the director is surprising but never truly involving and won’t threaten the tear ducks too much. You kind of get the feeling that the film never really knows what it wants to be so is never truly excellent at anyone thing - just good at all, this makes for a rounded production but doesn’t make anything hugely memorable. Bezucha’s script is probably better than his direction which is occasionally forced and feels stagey but he manages to drag poignancy out of the silences his script allows him. Infact that’s probably where the film is best - when no-body is saying anything at all, when the characters are forced to contemplate their lives and how their pasts have affected their presence and how they can change their futures. When the actors are quiet and the soundtrack stops the film takes on another life - which is the film The Family Stone should have been, it becomes a thoughtful and more gut wrenching look at intersecting lives of one family. The things that aren’t said become the most meaningful and the actors use that brilliantly - if their were more silences then I have no doubt that this would of become a classic.

                              The thing that oozes from the screen the most is the family - they may be mean and prejudice or whatever but they are a family and they love each other and always will, they are bound by the ties of their past and there will always be somewhere for them to go. The extreme love and protection shines from the screen as well as the responsibility and duty that comes with that security, undoubtedly the directors biggest success is his crafting of the family unit. You believe that these people could be related and you like that they seem so close - and that’s what The Family Stone is about in the end, family and anyone looking for a grown-up, thought provoking family drama could do much worse that this.


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                                26.04.2006 15:30
                                Very helpful



                                Worth Renting.

                                Ever since watching the very first episode of the fantastic sex and the city I have loved Sarah Jessica Parker as an actress and I have only just noticed she has started to appear in some recent films. The one I was most intrigued by was this film I am reviewing the family stone because it sure does boast an impressive cast including another of my favourites Diane Keaton. It should have been fantastic but as you can see I only gave it three stars and this is why.


                                The Film:

                                Straight away we are introduced to Meredith who looks very prim and proper talking in a high loud voice on her mobile phone about some sort of business. Her boyfriend Everett is following her around and seems to be trying to ignore her a little.

                                Another scene is at a gorgeous large house where members of eth Stone family are getting together for Christmas. Within a few minutes we see Amy who is Everett’s younger sister and we find out that Meredith is coming to spend Christmas with Everett’s family. She is telling other members of the family that she thinks Meredith is uptight and basically not a very nice person. However they all reserve judgement until they have met her themselves.

                                About five minutes into the film Meredith arrives at the Stone household with Everett. The family do not do much to disguise the fact that Amy has told them Meredith is a bit uptight and Meredith catches onto this straight away. Meredith herself does not do much to adhere herself to the family though when she complains that she does not want to share a bed with Everett in his family house so the sister Amy is thrown out of her own room. Annoying everyone further Meredith gets a phone call from her sister and asks Amy and her Mom to leave Amy’s room so she can answer it.

                                During a game of Charades, Amy embarrasses Meredith to the point that she leaves the house and gets a room in the nearby Inn. The film continues exploring Meredith’s relationship with the Stone family and Everett in particular and also the Stone family’s relationships with each other which especially gets interesting when Everett wants the family stone so he can propose to Meredith.

                                Verdict on the Story:

                                Right now in my opinion as a film lover I think this story is pretty good. I have been through this going to stay with my boyfriend’s family when I had not met many of them and it was nerve wracking which is why I can understand why Meredith is so nervous. The reason this film is so good and interesting though is because the script writers have made it so you cannot totally predict what is going to happen as there are so many twists and turns.

                                The whole film plays out very well but there is one story line which I am not going to tell you as it would spoil the film that does actually spoil the film. I am not kidding I was going to give this film four stars but it actually loses a star because of this one storyline being so ridiculous and annoying.

                                All in all though the actual story has enough to make you identify with it and also to enjoy it because it is a thing that most people will probably go through in their lives. There is just the right amount of humour and drama but it does lose a few marks for being so cringe-worthy in parts that it is almost unbearable to watch. I think although the film premise might not be very original I think the film is a bit different from the usual predictable ones.


                                Cast and Characters:

                                Sarah Jessica Parker – Meredith Morton
                                Dermot Mulroney – Everett Stone
                                Diane Keaton – Sybil Stone
                                Rachel McAdams – Amy Stone
                                Luke Wilson – Ben Stone
                                Claire Danes – Julie Morton
                                Craig Nelson – Kelly Stone

                                Verdict on the Cast and Characters:

                                The cast in one word is fantastic. So many huge screen names that the film nearly sells itself entirely on the cast and not on the actual story. I think everybody is suited to their roles big-time as they are all believable and make their characters watchable. I think my favorite has to be Rachel McAdams as I think she is a wonderful actress and her character to me is one of the most identifiable. The rest though are just as good and there is not one bit of bad acting at all. Luke Wilson has to get a mention though for creating a character I could fall in love with tomorrow, fantastic.

                                The characters themselves are actually very memorable in my opinion and I do think they are fantastic to watch. The reason they are so great is because they are just like a real family and I could definitely see a lot of my family’s character traits in these. Every person is identifiable which makes them loveable. I think the main thing in this film is that no character is made out to be a real baddy so you end up liking them all which is wonderful as it makes the film more entertaining.


                                Things to Know:

                                Runtime – 102 minutes
                                Price – £11.99 on Amazon
                                Certificate – 12


                                Overall Verdict:

                                It is a hard question to rate this film as I was really enjoying it up until one storyline and that one storyline actually tied into how the whole movie had played out and me and my sister just got confused as to how that could happen. The film is enjoyable though despite of this and I would recommend it to most people. I will warn you though that it is a bit of a girly film as two guys out of my office have seen it and hated it calling it too much of a chick flick for them.

                                The story I just think is inspired and they could not have done much better thinking of script to play out the whole meeting your partner’s family occasion. Putting the story over Christmas as well is very funny because everybody knows how stressful Christmas can get for some people and also what a family orientated time it is which would get awkward for outsiders to be involved in.

                                With regards to the story I think it is very interesting that they make you feel sorry for Meredith but also for the family meeting her too. She is a bit of a strange character and me and Sam were sitting there thinking well I would be fed up if I were the family and a guest was treating us like that but then also I think the family are not treating her right. It is good as the story keeps you guessing and does not put a label of goody and baddy on anybody.

                                This film gets it right with keeping you watching until the very end as it has a lot of comedy in there which keeps the film lighthearted but then there are some darker issues that make the film seem a bit more real life. The one thing that I didn’t like was how cringe-worthy some parts were and it actually made us shout at the characters to shut up.

                                In conclusion this film only gets three stars from me which is a real shame as it had so much potential. For me the reason it drops stars is because of that absolutely annoying and stupid storyline which if you really want to know then email me and I will tell you what it is. This actually tarnished the movie badly and made me and my sister just think how silly and that it does actually ruin the film.

                                I would still recommend it though for renting as it is a lot of fun at times and does show you some real family values.

                                Thanks for reading.



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