Who the hell is Thomas Bezucha? Until this evening I didn’t have a clue, but he’s the former fashion executive (ten years as creative services vp for Polo/Ralph Lauren) who’s come out of dead friggin’ nowhere to write and direct one of the best-written, most emotionally on-target and true-to-life family Christmas movies (okay, with a tidy commercial attitude…fine) ever made. It’s called The Family Stone (20th Century Fox, 11.11) and there’s no question it’s a hit. Don’t count on a rave from Armond White, but I’m telling you it’s going to go over big with educated blue-state Average Joes, at the very least. I’m not so sure about the family- values folks in Bubbaland…some of them might have qualms about a family that embraces a child-adopting gay-male couple, etc., but this movie is so relaxed and well-jiggered and human- tragedy funny…so half-dramatic and half-sitcom likable that you don’t even want to think about the red staters…screw ’em. The story’s about a large New England liberal family…all grown-up kids (Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney, Tyrone Giordano, Elizabeth Reaser) and mom-and-popped by Diane Keaton and Craig T. Nelson..assembling for a snowy Christmas with an oddball apple floating in the punch. Her name is Meredith (Sara Jessica Parker), Mulroney’s uptight bring-home-date and (who knows?) possible fiance whom everyone hates because she’s so emotionally conservative and screwed down tight. Stunned by the disapproving vibe she incurs from this semi-mellow brood, Meredith pressures her sister Julie (Claire Danes) into joining her to provide emotional support, and this in turn lays the stage for all kinds of upheavals and complications. There’s a big plot point I’m not going to reveal that also throws everyone off-balance. Is The Family Stone an Ingmar Bergman dramedy-farce about a cultivated, semi-neurotic family coping with the emotional land mines that always seem to go off when families get together in late December? Yes…if you drop the “Ingmar Bergman.” This is a commercial movie, which isn’t always a punishable crime. It does this kind of thing as well as you can expect a smart commercial movie to do this kind of thing. That’s not meant as a diss. In its own realm of confection, Bezucha and his cast do a bang-up job. It’s a studio souflee that feels more prickly and chaotically realistic than any home-for-the-holidays movie I can think of right now. It’s not gnarly or snarly enough to compete with a certain 1942 wintertime movie called The Man Who Came to Dinner, but it’s almost as tonally assured and smartly written as that classic….really. Everyone says Keaton will be a Best Supporting Actress nomineee and okay, maybe…but Parker is the one who lays it out and goes whacko and takes the big character journey. Nelson is fantastic, and Wilson is the best he’s ever been since Bottle Rocket. There’s a SAG ensemble acting award, right? Settled…these guys own it. How do you pronounce Bezucha’s name, by the way? Like bazooka bubble gum?