The Family Stone

#38 in my movie challenge for the year was last year’s The Family Stone. Poorly written and directed, it was saved by the performance of Craig T. Nelson, in perhaps the film’s only likable role. The story and the characters were wildly uneven. At times it seemed to want to be a old-fashioned romantic comedy, but then it whipped into a scene invested with ham-handed attempts at drama. I didn’t hate this movie, but I came awfully close. It should have been a drama with gentle humor, or a comedy without maudlin attempts at realism. I found the mix of extremes often painful to watch.

4 Responses to “The Family Stone”

  1. Sydney Says:

    Saw this in the theater with EMS over the holidays, and enjoyed it. I agree some parts were painful. But LOVED the cast. Let’s be honest, romatic comedies make us want to believe that stuff COULD REALLY HAPPEN TO ME. And it doesn’t. Far more believeable is that future in-laws are biting and mean, anxieties run high over the holiday and our partners seem to abandon us when we feel the most vulnerable. C’mon. Maybe it was painful to watch as a movie, because it was so TRUE?

    Not fair, btw, that Claire Dannes continues to become more beautiful with every passing moment.

  2. emily Says:

    Couldn’t agree more, I thought it was a DREADFUL film. I couldn’t understand what they thought they were doing - and the SJP character was almost irredeemable by 30 minutes in. Bad, bad film.

  3. Dawn Says:

    I had the same feeling about the film. I like funny light films…because I like to laugh and not cry at films…did enough of that in real life…anyway. I couldn’t believe how much I cried in this film. One moment you would feel sorry for one character then you hated them. I think it was a bit true to life in some ways…because people are more complex then movies sometimes show. The thing that agravated me was reading the description on the film it said it was a real laugh a minute! I read that to my husband after watching the film and finally had to laugh! The person who wrote the blurb didn’t watch the film…or they have a sick sense of humour!

  4. girldetective Says:

    Perhaps the person who said it was a laugh a minute only watched every other minute of the movie? The further I get from this movie the more I dislike it. If it is true to life, then it’s true to life in a way that isn’t a good thing–the lovely thing about fiction is that it allows us to elide the boring, overlong stuff to focus on the important themes, be they funny or sad. And I forgot to mention how much I disliked the labored double entendre of the title, which referred both to the family and the engagement ring.