Everyone has a go-to guilty pleasure that they watch over and over throughout the season. For many, it’s Love, Actually—a film, we admit, that we, too, will indulge in any time it’s on TV. But although it’s chock-full of warm fuzzies, we’re always left wanting something more by the end of it. It’s just so…not anywhere close to being realistic. Then there’s our true all-time fave, 2005 gem The Family Stone. It throws down holiday realness, no holds barred. This movie has everything, including a wonderfully bitchy Rachel McAdams and Diane Keaton in great button-down blouses. Love The Coopers (in theatres today) also features Keaton as the beloved matriarch of a charmingly dysfunctional upper middle-class family to the point where the trailer has got us like (Stone spoiler alert) “JK, Mom’s not dead she is just spending the holidays with her other, secret family the Coopers.” Here are five reasons why OG The Family Stone will always be our fave, and should be yours, too.
The film boasts an all-star ensemble. McAdams and Sarah Jessica Parker are the standouts, as a jaded sister and soon-to-be sister-in-law at odds, and both are refreshingly playing against type (no shoe shopping sprees for SJP in this story). The entire cast, which includes favourites Craig T. Nelson, Claire Danes, Luke Wilson, Dermot Mulroney and our girl Diane, makes for a believable, relatable clan.
It’s Like an Episode of Parenthood Set During Christmas
The Stones are one big, dysfunctional, tight-knit family just trying to make it work. The film deals with the unavoidable chaos that comes with family during the holidays, and the reality that ensues after the presents are unwrapped—there’s no sugar coating the awkwardness of meeting your partner’s family for the first time, dealing with poor romantic decisions, and the inevitability of turning on each other in stressful situations.
That Awkward Family Dinner
Speaking of family realness, The Family Stone contains a monumentally uncomfortable dinner scene. Everyone has gathered at the dining room table for Christmas Eve and the conversation turns to the topic of sexuality. Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker), in an attempt to interject herself into the conversation, makes a controversial point that no parent would want a gay child, right?…and the rest of the family vehemently disagrees. The scene is awkward and tense and uncomfortable and we’ve aaaaall been there.
The Stone House is Everything
Like any good holiday movie, this one is set in a wonderfully beautiful house of our dreams. It’s the long driveway, tacky-yet-familiar wallpaper, Persian rugs and grand staircase (perfect perch for judging newcomers) that draws you in and makes you want to be part of the Stone fam jam—even though you suspect they’d probably rip you apart, too.
There’s Even a Dance Sequence!
Reeling from her dinner convo faux-pas, Meredith flees the unwelcoming bunch and heads to a nearby bar. (Is this our life??) In her attempt to deal, she gets a little too drunk and adorkably dances the night away to Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From.”
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