Family Stone, The
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -2

The dysfunctional, goofy but likable Stone family is all in a dither in this holiday comedy. Why? Everett (Dermot Mulroney) is bringing home his nervous girlfriend, Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker), for Christmas. His parents, Sybil and Kelly (Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson), and other family members immediately dislike the uptight, insecure Meredith. In a desperate attempt to enter into the family conversation, she offends everyone by asking Everetts deaf brother Thad (Tyrone Gordano) and his gay partner, Patrick (Brian J. White), why they chose to be homosexual. Only Ben (Luke Wilson) reaches out to the distraught and socially inept guest. When Merediths sister Julie (Claire Danes) comes to rescue her, Everett knows hes picked the wrong sister. Tension escalates when Sybil tells Everett he cannot have his grandmothers engagement ring because she knows the relationship is doomed. Secrets spill out, and chaos reigns before the Stone family resolves the problem of the family stone.

The Stones are a loving family particularly poignant is the relationship of Sybil and Kelly, who support each other through a difficult time in order to protect their family from a devastating secret. But the Stones dont embrace traditional values. They encourage their gay son and his partner to adopt a baby and speak bluntly of their daughter Amys (Rachel McAdams) loss of virginity. It is no secret that Meredith and Everett live together in New York, yet Meredith refuses to sleep with him in his parents home, which forces Amy to give up her room and sleep on the sofa. Ben befriends Meredith and takes her to a bar and gets her drunk as a way of loosening her up. The next morning she wakes up in his bed alone, but he insists he slept on the floor. Even without sex or nudity, a few strong obscenities and profanities tarnish the dialogue, and the positive portrayal of homosexuality make this story disappointing.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Crude Language: Few (4) mild (hell 2); strong (-ss 1, b-tch 1)
Obscene Language: Several (5) moderate (cr-p 1, scr-w 1); strong (s-word 1, slang for female genitals 2)
Profanity: Several (9) moderate (MG 5); strong (GD 3, J 1)
Violence: Few mild (women slip and fall in spilled casserole)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: Several mild (openly gay couple accepted by family, discussions between family and gay son)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few strong (references to teenagers loss of virginity in crude terms)
Drug Abuse: Few times moderate (man deliberately gets woman drunk, some pot smoking)
Other: Positive portrayal of marriage, parents accept grown childrens weaknesses without judging
Running Time: 96 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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