26 November 2011

The Family Stone - A New Christmas Classic

Ok, I admit it, I'm a mix of emotions when it comes to Christmas. I can, at the same time, over-decorate and devour all the holiday schmaltz you can throw at me while also being incredibly...non-committal. Why? Because Christmas is a time of contradictions. The season holds the potential for miracles (not the Jesus kind but the kind that seem to be life changing / affirming) but can also pack an emotional wallop. Christmas is a season when it feels like the whole world is in love with everything and everyone, but there are also incredibly poignant and painful memories. For me it's often of the people that I can no longer share this unique time of year with. So, at the same time as it reaffirms family ties Christmas can also throw into relief those ties that were never solidified or that have slipped and disappeared.

That's why I love this movie, The Family Stone. It uses the quintessential picture-perfect Christmas card backdrop (notice them in the opening credits) on which to display it all: the miraculous, the tedious, the horrific, the hilarious, and the tragic. And that's why this movie is one of my 'new' Christmas classics.


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