My first industry screening is for The Family Stone, the romantic-comedy-drama that I told you all about back in September. The film focuses on the relationships between the members of the Stone family. There’s the patriarch Kelly (Craig T. Nelson), his wife Sybil (Diane Keaton), and their FIVE (yes, five) children: Ben (Luke Wilson), Thad (Tyrone Giordano), Susannah (Elizabeth Reaser), Amy (Rachel McAdams), and Everett (Dermot Mulroney).
Basic premise is this: Everett brings his uptight girlfriend Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) home for Christmas to meet the family, with intentions to propose to her. She makes the worst-possible impressions with the family, and calls in her sister Julie (Claire Danes) for support.
There are a few emotional twists that I won’t give away, but the film worked on many levels. It’s got a lot of funny comedic bits, some strong emotional moments, and at its core, a loving family drama. Writer/director Thomas Bezucha is definitely to be commended for his efforts, and he did a great job making me “feel” the cold winter environment, and the warmth in the household. The use of music was spare, with long moments of silence – a blessing in this day and age of overscored films.
It’s the only “holiday film” I can think of that’s coming out, and I definitely recommend The Family Stone to anyone looking for a heartwarming family drama that will evoke every emotion you have.