The Family Stone

December 16th, 2005


The Family Stone

No valid json found

Still of Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson and Rachel McAdams in The Family StoneStill of Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker and Rachel McAdams in The Family StoneDiane Keaton at event of The Family StoneStill of Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Craig T. Nelson and Rachel McAdams in The Family StoneStill of Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams in The Family StoneStill of Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney and Rachel McAdams in The Family Stone

An uptight, conservative, businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 6.2/10 (30,160 voted)

Critic's Score: 56/100

Director: Thomas Bezucha

Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes

The Stone family unites in common cause when their favorite son brings his uptight girlfriend home for the Christmas holiday, with plans of proposing. Overwhelmed by the hostile reception, she begs her sister to join her for emotional support, triggering further complications.

Claire Danes - Julie Morton
Diane Keaton - Sybil Stone
Rachel McAdams - Amy Stone
Dermot Mulroney - Everett Stone
Craig T. Nelson - Kelly Stone
Sarah Jessica Parker - Meredith Morton
Luke Wilson - Ben Stone
Tyrone Giordano - Thad Stone (as Ty Giordano)
Brian White - Patrick Thomas
Elizabeth Reaser - Susannah Stone Trousdale
Paul Schneider - Brad Stevenson
Savannah Stehlin - Elizabeth Trousdale
Jamie Kaler - John Trousdale
Robert Dioguardi - David Silver
Carol Locatell - Jeweler

Taglines: Feel The Love.

Release Date: 16 December 2005

Filming Locations: Connecticut, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $12,521,027 (USA) (18 December 2005)

Gross: $60,061,759 (USA) (26 March 2006)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Billy Crudup and Johnny Knoxville were expected to play the roles of Everett and Ben Stone before dropping out. The part later went to Luke Wilson. Aaron Eckhart was first cast in the role of Everett but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

Continuity: On the first Christmas, Merideth gives each of the family members a framed photograph of Sybil. In each frame the photo mat color is white. The following Christmas, (as the movie ends) the framed photograph of Sybil is shown. The mat color is now black.

Patrick Thomas: [the family is playing Charades and Thad is up. No one is guessing right, but Patrick finally gets it] Ooh! "Billy Don't Be a Hero"!
Thad Stone: Yes! THANK you!
Amy Stone: That's a song?
Susannah Stone: Yes, it's a song. You've heard it.
Ben Stone: Whose clue was that? It's not very... it's not good.
Meredith Morton: Ahem.

User Review

Talented actors have fun with a familiar premise

Rating: 7/10

The premise of "The Family Stone" sounds a little shopworn: Everett Stone brings his uptight girlfriend Meredith home for Christmas to meet his large family, who instantly dislike her. Even worse, the trailer reveals most of the plot's complications. However, this premise has been used so often because it reliably provides opportunities for comedy, drama, and insight into family dynamics. "The Family Stone" proves itself a better-than-average example of the genre because of its talented cast and reasonably intelligent script.

Sarah Jessica Parker's presence ensures that Meredith always remains sympathetic, even when we can also perfectly understand why she irritates the Stones. The various Stones-- Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Dermot Mulroney, Rachel McAdams, Luke Wilson--make the most of their roles, and, more importantly, they really do start to seem like a family, not a random collection of actors. The only actor who fails to make an impression is Claire Danes, who can't do much with the underwritten role of Meredith's sister Julie.

"The Family Stone" is not a groundbreaking movie, but it goes beyond the fish-out-of-water clichés that its plot might suggest. It finds the emotional truth, as well as the humor, in Meredith's situation. Plus, it's extremely evenhanded: all of the characters are flawed but likable, and in a climactic argument at the dinner table, both Meredith and Sibyl make valid points. Reviewers on this site have accused the movie of pushing a liberal agenda via its sympathetic portrayal of an interracial gay couple and a semi-bohemian family--and of pushing a conservative agenda via its portrayal of the Stones as hypocritical liberals who pay lip service to tolerance but are prejudiced against people like Meredith. Personally, I'm not sure if "The Family Stone" has any agenda, other than to cast good actors in a holiday comedy-drama that doesn't insult its audience's intelligence. And it succeeds pretty well at that.


Comments are closed.