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“It's Just That We're All That We've Got!" - Sybil Stone
on December 11, 2016
It’s a downright huge homemade Christmas for the extended Stone family during the December holiday. The eldest and ‘favorite' son, Everett (Dermot Mulroney), brings his quite buttoned-up and beautiful girlfriend, Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker), to meet the entirety of his free-spirited, unified, opinionated, and diverse brood. This entire bunch is filled to the brim with exclusive personalities, definite broad experiences, and poignant irons in the fire though they seem to all agree with each other for the most part… then comes the seemingly radical and unexpected spark off another set of opinions and let the dominoes fall where they may. While Meredith has a more conservative attitude amongst a family of the opposite, her opinions, thoughts, even her attempts at understanding cannot hold water and are under fire with this bunch so she feels compelled to call in the reinforcement of her sister Julie (Claire Danes) for some emotional support amongst this crew. So who are the judgmental here and who are judged? You decide while viewing this entertaining and often boisterous ensemble cast written and directed by Thomas Bezucha.
This is definitely not your typical merry, merry, happy family Christmas movie fare and I have watched it throughout the years at any time of year while realizing each time something new or overlooked before. In fact, this family is definitely not the easiest to warm up to as a whole. Each person is quite specific in how they face life except when it comes to their familial tunnel vision. They have that down in spades. With these many people acting together, there is too much to miss with just one viewing. The cast includes Diane Keaton (Sybil Stone), Craig T. Nelson (Kelly Stone), Rachel McAdams (Amy), and Luke Wilson (Ben) amongst so many others whom all fill the family home to overflowing right into the town’s public Inn; a Christmas family get together never looked quite like this to me before. This is less of a comedy as it is a drama with some great comedic elements. There are scenes that had me holding my breath because of what had been said while I was waiting for a response - or a response that I didn’t necessarily understand what all of the fuss was over. They may all fill up one great big home but these individual personalities manage to suck in each and every corner of breathing space. The questions may be as follows: Is there room for Meredith, who represents a different point of view? Can these families learn from one another that puzzle pieces don’t always fit perfectly, and if they do, the picture may be far too boring? Again, you decide.