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With: Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Tyrone Giordano, Brian White, Paul Schneider
Written by: Thomas Bezucha
Directed by: Thomas Bezucha
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, and drug references
Running Time: 102
Date: 11/26/2005

The Family Stone (2005)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Rock in a Scarred Place

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Designed as another one of those chaos-at-the-holidays comedies, The Family Stone coasts along on a bobsled of great performances, notably Diane Keaton as the matriarch. Eldest son Everett (Dermot Mulroney) brings his tightly wound girlfriend (Sarah Jessica Parker), home for Christmas, who then fails to make an impression. She calls in her sister (Claire Danes) for backup, causing romantic complications. Writer/director Thomas Bezucha scored an art house success in 2001 with his delightful gay romantic dramedy Big Eden, but his new script lacks the same polish. Though the laughs are intact, serious subplots about cancer, deafness and gay couples adopting babies add an unwelcome weight that shifts the whole thing off-kilter. Craig T. Nelson, Rachel McAdams and Luke Wilson play other members of the hapless Stone family.

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