The Family Stone is a 2005 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Thomas Bezucha. Produced by Michael Londonand distributed by 20th Century Fox, it stars an ensemble cast, including Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams,Tyrone Giordano, Brian J. White, and Elizabeth Reaser.
The plot follows the Christmas holiday misadventures of the Stone family in a small New England town when the eldest son, played by Mulroney, brings his uptight girlfriend (played by Parker) home with the intention of proposing to her with a cherished heirloom ring. Overwhelmed by the hostile reception, she begs her sister to join her for emotional support, triggering further complications.
The Family Stone was released in North America on November 26, 2005 and was a moderate critical and commercial success, with a worldwide gross of over US$92.2 million. While Parker was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance, Keaton, Nelson and McAdams garnered a Satellite Awardnomination each. In addition, McAdams was awarded a Teen Choice Award the following year.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Set in the fictional town of Thayer, Massachusetts, the story focuses on Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker), a successfulManhattan executive whose uptight, conservative demeanor is a sharp contrast to that of her boyfriend Everett (Dermot Mulroney) and his liberal and rambunctious family.
Meredith, feeling very much an outsider during the Christmas holidays with Everett's family, opts to stay at the local inn instead of with the family and asks her sister Julie (Claire Danes) to join her for support. Everett finds himself attracted to the more outgoing Julie. Meredith desperately tries to fit in, but her strained attempt to play charades and a clumsy effort to engage the family in a dinner table discussion about nature versus nurture and sexual orientation prove to be disastrous and Amy Stone (Rachel McAdams) insults her. Distraught, Meredith attempts to drive off but crashes the car, and Everett's brother Ben (Luke Wilson) comes to comfort her. The two end up at a local bar where, after several drinks, Meredith begins to enjoy herself. She invites Amy's high school flame and local paramedic, Brad Stevenson (Paul Schneider), to the Stones' for Christmas breakfast. The following morning, when she awakens in Ben's bed, she incorrectly assumes their night of revelry ended with the two having sex together.
Christmas proves to be a day of accusations, recriminations, self-discoveries, and attempts to mend fences. Sybil (Diane Keaton), who originally refused Everett's request for his grandmother's ring, reconsiders her position and offers it to him; but, by now, his feelings for Meredith have shifted to her sister. In a moment of emotional confusion – or clarity – he asks Julie to try on the ring, and it gets stuck. When Julie and Meredith lock themselves in the bathroom to get the ring off, they assume Everett is about to propose to Meredith. The family exchanges gifts; and Meredith, oblivious to Sybil's failing health, presents each with a framed enlarged photograph of Sybil taken when she was pregnant with Amy. Everyone is touched by her gesture, and Meredith relaxes slightly; but, when Everett asks to talk to her, she demurs again and again until she blurts out that she will not marry him. He counters that he didn't plan to ask her. Meredith breaks down in front of the family. All the personality conflicts come to a head, and everyone begins the process of healing.
One year later, the family reunites at the Stone house. Meredith and Ben are a couple, as are Everett and Julie and Amy and Brad. Everett's brother Thad and his partner Patrick have adopted a baby boy named Gus, and Everett's other sister, Susannah, has had her baby. It is hinted that Sybil passed away. She is referenced as the family gathers with family Christmas ornaments around the tree. The framed photograph of Sybil is on the wall next to the tree and Amy is wearing her ring.
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