Like most families that get together for the holidays, there's some comedy, a little love, a bit of drama and a few mishaps and the Stone family gathering is no different.
Everett (Dermot Mulroney) brings his buttoned-downer, uptight girlfriend Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) home to meet his liberal, eclectic family, before he pops the question.
Outspoken mom Sybil (Diane Keaton) takes an immediate dislike to her and college professor dad Kelly (Craig T. Nelson), brother Ben (Luke Wilson), gay brother Thad (Ty Giordano), acid tongued sister Amy (Rachel McAdams) and what seems to be the only normal member of the Stone family, pregnant sister Susanna (Elizabeth Reaser) are ready to pass judgment on Everett's choice for a wife.
Although the members of the Stone family have their share of faults, Meredith isn't easy to warm up to. She wears her hair in a severe bun, has crisp black clothing and a stern demeanor, she also has a tendency to say things that don't come out exactly how she meant them, put it all together, and it makes for an uncomfortable visit, to say the least.
After the first difficult evening with the family, Meredith calls her sister Julie (Claire Danes) to come to the Connecticut home as a reinforcement. As stern as Meredith is, her sister is fresh and easygoing, and causes added drama to an already chaotic holiday.
The actors fit their roles perfectly. The stand outs are Parker who can convincingly be both a serious corporate type one minute and a party girl the next, and Keaton, who shares a very lovely husband and wife moment with Nelson.
The Family Stone has everything going for it: humor, romance and a warm fuzzy feel to it. It's a nice change to see a dysfunctional family come to terms and serve up a satisfying treat for Christmas.