It's always been my understanding that holiday movies are supposed to reinforce belief in the elusive "Christmas Miracle"-the same phenomenon behind George Bailey' redemption and the lingering hope Tara Reid still has for her career. Though The Family Stone
is filled with at least three scenarios that can be described as miraculous, none redeem the film as a worthy comedic seasonal distraction. But as a pre-Christmas exercise, let' examine those miracles together:Miracle #1: The Harmonious Liberal Family.
The premise of The Family Stone
is Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) brings his tightly wound prospective fiancÃÂ©e, Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker), home for Christmas to meet the rest of his clan. As soon as the Stones are introduced, however, one realizes that no family as diverse as this could ever get along so well-and all suspension of disbelief immediately vanishes. There is the sickly matriarch (Diane Keaton); the enlightened dad (Craig T. Nelson), who seems totally fine expressing love to his deaf, gay son' effeminate black life partner; there' the NPR-tote carrying troublemaker baby sister (Rachel McAdams); an older sister, who embraces the traditional pregnant mom and wife role (Elizabeth Reaser) and the pot-smoking Cali-based documentarian younger brother (Luke Wilson). Among the many things the Stones agree on is that Everett is making the wrong choice and there must be something deeper to his decision.