The Family Stone

It's a comedy with a dash of tragedy — the kind of thing that usually makes me puke. But I fell for this one. The sublime Sarah Jessica Parker dares to be unlikable as the uptight careerist fiancee whom Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) brings home to meet his family for Christmas. Mom (Diane Keaton) and dad (Craig T. Nelson) are appalled. Sister Amy (Rachel McAdams, irresistible) thinks she's a bitch. Slacker brother Ben (Luke Wilson, giving the performance of his career) takes her to bed. Writer-director Thomas Bezucha lays it on thick, but he knows the mad-dog anarchy of family life and gives the laughs a sharp comic edge. Keaton, a sorceress at blending humor and heartbreak, honors the film with a grace that makes it stick in the memory.

From The Archives Issue 107: April 27, 1972