The Family Stone would have been your typical holiday family relationship film, with some amusing situations and a host of lightly-developed characters, except for the feeling that the characters in the film actually cared for each other. Unlike so many of these films that are released between November and December each year, we left the theater after seeing The Family Stone with the belief that the family was truly close and actually liked each other.
The acting in the film was quite well done, with Sarah Jessica Parker playing an over-the-top type A personality and a cast that included Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Dermot Mulroney and up and coming Rachel McAdams.
The plot was fairly traditional, with some amusing twists and some great visual gags. However, unlike the overly-comedic films (such as last year's Christmas with the Kranks) and the overly depressing films, this one had a kind of balance that made it both real and compelling.
Although not a must see film for people who see 10 or fewer films in a year, I'd certainly consider it if you like complex relationship comedies. All told, I think we'll see this one on people's video shelves in the future.