“Families getting together for the holidays” dramedies were a lot less ubiquitous ten years ago, which is when Thomas Bezucha‘s The Family Stone was beginning to be screened. It opened on 11.26.05 and wound up making $92 million and change, but the Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores were curiously mixed. That never made any sense to me as I was delighted with the film. And now that so many family-gathering films have come and gone in the intervening decade maybe the negheads who put it down in the fifth year of the Bush administration are finally realizing how good The Family Stone was, certainly when you compare it to films like Jessie Nelson‘s Love The Coopers, which you can tell right away is cloying lightweight shite.
The Family Stone crew (l. to r.): Craig T. Nelson (on rug) Elizabeth Reaser, Savannah Stehlin, (seated) Diane Keaton, (on rug) Rachel McAdams, Paul Schneider (standing) Sarah Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, (seated) Brian J. White, (on rug) Tyrone Giordano, (standing) Claire Danes, no comment.
“Set in snowy New England (although exteriors were shot in Madison, New Jersey), The Family Stone is a home-for-the-holidays family pic with smarts and feeling and humor that’s simultaneously sensitive, abrasive and real,” I wrote a decade ago. “People have asked me if The Family Stone is mainly a comedy or one of those heartfelt things. I tell them it’s kinda both. It’s not serious-serious, but there’s an emotional sincerity and a moment or two (or three) that gets you deep down. The main residue at the end is one of caring and closeness.”