A potentially interesting tale flailing haplessly in the quicksand of holiday-movie formula, this domestic dramedy from writer-director Thomas Bezucha is most potently read in reverse of its intentions.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
A rank slice of Christmas cheese.
| Original Score: 1/4
There are many ways to define the shrieking awfulness of The Family Stone, from the general lack of wit to the cheap exploitation of cancer to its casual cruelty.
| Original Score: 2/5
Thomas Bezucha who wrote and directed wanted it to build up to a romantic and madcap third act, perhaps a bit like MOONSTRUCK, but somehow it seems forced.
| Original Score: 6/10
Though the laughs are intact, serious subplots... add an unwelcome weight that shifts the whole thing off-kilter.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Just desolately average.
The movie's stock base: pat revelations and cheap manipulations.
| Original Score: C-
The movie is wonderful as a drama, and wonderful when a comedy, but when the scenes are placed side by side, it's a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde movie mish mash.
| Original Score: 2/4
Go ahead--throw the first stone. Throw it right at the screen. Take aim, wind up and let the rocks rip.
| Original Score: D
With a few more polishes, ...may have almost sparkled, but it's been left with too many flaws to quite make the grade.
| Original Score: C+
... pleasant enough company, but it's a bit like playing charades with the same titles over and over.
Rarely have I seen such a maudlin, manipulative, mean-spirited mess masquerading as a holiday comedy.
| Original Score: 5/10
Ultra-contrived, but delivers an important message about tolerance.
One of those cloying familiar whacky holiday formulaic sitcom drama/comedies that is what it is.
| Original Score: C
A miserable misfire that might explain why so many people take their own lives during the holidays.
It's hard to fathom why anyone would voluntarily endure a holiday family reunion movie (hereafter HFRM) -- a genre devised solely to demonstrate how grotesque and how heartwarming families can be.
The plot is motored more by convenience than credible character behavior and for much of the time, the cockles of our hearts remain unwarmed.
Almost everything about The Family Stone is so schematic and prefabricated that it should come with its own easy-to-follow blueprint.