Stones tapes and misled toe

Film Horrid to admit but I haven't stepped inside a cinema auditorium since Broken Flowers which considering I'm on film course is a terrible thing. I'm planning to catch up one day over the festive period and I was going to concentrate on the obvious blockbusters and let The Family Stone drift to dvd before I see it hearing Mark Kermode rip the film to shreds. Then John (who writes Sore Eyes) sent me the following email which suggested I think again:
"As a fellow founder-member of the Rachel McAdams fan club and a long-time member of the Claire Danes fan club, I've no doubt you'll be going to see 'The Family Stone' at some point if you haven't already done so. Just in case you're holding back because of boring trivialities like exams and essays and coursework, I suggest that you take a break and catch 'The Family Stone' before it disappears from the cinemas, squeezed out by a giant ape, a CGI lion who sounds like a Jedi Master, and a teenage wizard.

I've just got back from a screening and I can assure you that 'The Family Stone' is well worth a look, and not just because of the presence of the terrific twosome. It's an ensemble piece, so neither actress gets as much screen time as we'd probably like, but the cast is uniformly fine. Well, Dermot Mulroney is a bit wooden, but I think that was more down to the way his character was written: at times he seemed almost as different from his family as his uptight girlfriend Sarah Jessica Parker.

The film is a surprisingly enjoyable piece, with all sorts of fun being had by the ultra-liberal Stone family when they meet SJP's extraordinarily tightly-wound business executive. McAdams is the only one who has met her eldest brother's girlfriend before, and is the family member who does the most to undermine, embarrass and generally terrorise SJP. (SJP is terrific in this: she was all but unbearable in the last few seasons of 'Sex and the City' once she became a producer and could ensure that poor Carrie was always in the right, but this performance reminded me of how much fun she was in 'L.A. Story' as Steve Martin's young girlfriend.)

It's a somewhat predictable plot, but in a good way: you essentially know where the film is going to end up, so you can relax and enjoy the ride (which does take the odd detour just to keep us all on our toes.) I laughed out loud frequently, cringed in embarrassment a few times, and nearly had to brush away a tear once or twice. What more can you ask? (Except for more Danes and McAdams, that is.)
Thanks John. I too remember SJP's energetic performance in La Story (as I remember calling at the time) and also Flight of the Navigator. We missing that Jessica. Now all I have to do is work out how I'm going to fit those four in. Perhaps Narnia is going to have to stay in the wardrobe.

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