Meeting your partner's family for the first time is always
going to be a nerve-racking experience but for Meredith (Parker) is was
going to be even more traumatic because it is Christmas. Everett (Mulroney)
wants to pop the question with his grandmother's wedding ring but his mother
Sybil (Keaton) and the rest of the family have no intension of handing the
ring over because they really don't like Meredith.
The problems of fitting into a new family are something most
people can relate to but can 'The Family Stone' capture what people in relationships
Writer/director Thomas Bezucha brings a tale of fitting in
to the silver screen but instead of a real life family comedy drama we have
an overly sentimental movie that is more sickly than sweet. With an underlying
plot that is supposed to pull at the heart strings and some relationship
twists and turns that are supposed to be funny and touching, it is obvious
that he really wanted this to be the 'Terms of Endearment' for the new millennium
but he fails in a really big way.
Despite gathering together a top notch ensemble cast, Bezucha's
tendency to pour on the sentimentally takes away the impact of the performances
and the chance for the actor's breath as much life into their characters
as they might have wanted to. With such a large ensemble, there are bound
to be some of the characters that suffer from a lack of development but
even the main cast members suffer.
Why is Rachel McAdams' Amy so bitter and hates everyone outside
of the family? What is Everett connection to Claire? Why are Meredith and
Everett together when it is obvious that they have nothing in common? There
are many more questions as well these but they would give away plot points
but needless to say that the numerous questions about the character's backstories
lessen the impact of the story and your connection with them.
This is set up as a snippet into the life of the Stone family
and the repercussions of Meredith coming into the family but the sentimentally
and sugary sweetness of the plot make this almost cringe worthy. While the
performances in 'The Family Stone' make this a lot more watchable than the
story should have been, you can help thinking that should have been a much
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
movie is presented well.
Commentary by Sarah Jessica Parker and Dermot Mulroney
Two of the stars from the impressive ensemble cast provide a fun commentary
for 'The Family Stone'. Laughing most of their way through it, the two
do manage to talk about their roles in the movie and what it was like
working with writer/director Thomas Bezucha. They also talk about their
fellow cast members and what it was like working with a legend like Diane
Keaton. This is a very chatty and fun commentary that fans should enjoy.
Commentary by director Thomas Bezucha, producer Michael London, editor
Jeffery Ford and production designer Jane Ann Stewart
This is an informative and chatty commentary from the filmmakers behind
the film. They talk passionately about the story and the characters, highlighting
the impressive ensemble cast and what each actor brought to the role.
The group also talk about the look and feel of the film, highlighting
the reality of the family dynamic. This is a good commentary that concentrates
more on the filmmaking aspects of the movie.
Fox Movie Channel Presents 'Casting Session' (8.02 mins)
Writer/director Thomas Bezucha, producer Michael London, casting director
Mindy Marin and stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton and Luke Wilson
talk about creating the family dynamic for 'The Family Stone'.
Fox Movie Channel Presents 'World Premiere' (6.06 mins)
Presenter Tava Smiley interviews director Thomas Bezucha, producer Michael
London and stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Craig T. Nelson,
Brian White, Tyrone Giordano and Elizabeth Reaser on the red carpet at
the world premiere of 'The Family Stone'.
October 8th 2005: Q & A with the cast at the Screen Actors Guild Theatre
Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Dermot Mulroney, Rachel McAdams, Claire
Danes and Tyrone Giordano talk to a select audience about their characters
and the film. Luke Wilson steals the show with stories from the set, much
to the embarrassment of the rest of the cast.
Behind the Scenes (17.52 mins)
Writer/director Thomas Bezucha, producer Michael London, production designer
Jane Ann Stewart, costume designer Shay Cunliffe and stars Sarah Jessica
Parker, Diane Keaton, Elizabeth Reaser, Tyrone Giordano, Craig T. Nelson,
Rachel McAdams, Savannah Stehlin and Luke Wilson take you behind the scenes
of 'The Family Stone'. The group talk about the family dynamic, being
part of the family and the relationships within the family.
Gag Reel (5.31 mins)
Watch the ensemble cast make a hash of their lines and have some fun on
Deleted Scenes (5.04 mins)
Entitled 'They hate me', 'You know who's just gonna hate her most?', 'Why
ain't you married?', 'Is Ben Back?', 'Merry Christmas' and 'Hi Bradley'
these deleted or extended scenes have optional commentary by director
Thomas Bezucha and editor Jeffery Ford Meredith's Strata: A Morton Family
Tradition Follow text instructions on how to make a Yule Tide breakfast
Trailers for 'In Her Shoes', 'Walk the Line', 'Shop Girl', 'Breakfast
on Pluto' and 'Tristan + Isolde'
Go behind the scenes of 'The Sentinel' with star Kiefer Sutherland
Fox has again filled their latest DVD release full of extra features.
The bonus features for 'The Family Stone' are good, with some decent featurettes
and two good commentaries. Fans should be very pleased with this release.