Friday, December 30, 2005

Favorite Movie of the Year: The Family Stone!?

Please pick yourself up off the floor. I’m sorry to shock and befuddle you like that. This is probably the last thing you’d expect me to write. At this point you think I probably turned my back on all that is cool and hip, or perhaps the cold has gotten to my brain. I know this isn't like me at all, but bear with me. I’d like to point out that I should have used the word, “experience” in the post’s title. I’m not saying it’s the best movie of the year. Let me explain though why it’s my favorite movie experience of the year.

As stated in yesterday’s post, my family and I went to see The Family Stone. I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the idea, but I was trying to win brownie points with Ben K’s wife, Julie. I thought it’d be up her alley, and my sisters would probably enjoy it as well. Now I had little knowledge of what the movie was all about. I knew it was about a son bringing his to-be fiancé to meet his quirky family. Of course she’s high strung and anal, and they are loose, fancy free, and lovably odd. I had no idea about the whole mother dying of cancer part. I should’ve because it fits in with every other cliché in this movie.

Even though it’s been over two years, we as a family still struggle a little when this sort of topic comes up in movies. It also didn’t help that Diane Keaton played the mother. You see Keaton and my Mom shared similar quirks and vocal mannerisms. That made watching the movie all the more difficult. There is of course the fact that we are one large and quirky family. I completely sympathized with Dermot Mulroney. I can easily imagine my own fears when I will have to introduce a girlfriend or fiancé to my family. I can also imagine her fear and feeling of being overwhelmed. Anyway, my point is that we as a family completely identified with this family in one-way or another.

The movie itself is a by the books quirky family Christmas movie. What saved it were the performances. Every actor basically nails his or her performance. Diane Keaton is especially great. The dialogue itself is good as well. It’s just the plot is completely predictable and the love square is quite ridiculous. It has its funny moments. It also becomes heavy handed when it decides to preach. It’s a nice rental in my opinion. Even with all those flaws The Family Stone is still my favorite movie of the year.

This ranks up there with my Finding Nemo experience. The theater itself was basically empty, so it was like having our own private viewing. We also treated it as such. We laughed and cried out loud even at inopportune moments that I’m sure confused and offended those few sitting in the theater with us. The prime example was at the ending, when you could easily hear and see our whole family bawling. Yet the second the screen faded to black we all laughed as one at our own crying. I’m sure we came across as asshole’s laughing at such a somber moment, but it was our release.

Leaving the theater we were all red-eyed with some of us still drying our eyes. We didn’t say much, we just kept laughing. Maybe we are all crazy, but we shared an experience as a family. We expressed our pain of missing Mom at Christmas, and we remembered her. It just took a schmaltzy and flawed movie to bring it out of us. That’s why The Family Stone was the best time I had at the movies this year. Now you can have nothing to do with me. I will admit I think the poster is lame.


bobby said...

I think that's awesome. It validates the entire industry when a movie can actually bring people together. And if your mom was anything like Diane Keaton, I would have been in love with your mom.

Bradford said...

Next I will validate TV with a post about Perfect Strangers.