Holiday time is approaching and with it comes holiday movies! The kids and I love watching Elf over and over and I am addicted to White Christmas but my absolute favourite holiday movies is The Family Stone, a romantic comedy with a lot of big name actors that almost no one has heard about.

Here’s the gist of it
The prodigal son Everett Stone brings his conservative and bigot fiancée Meredith Morton to spend Christmas holidays with his very closed family. Meredith is coldly and hostilely welcomed by the family Stone, and feeling completely uncomfortable, she decides to call her sister Julie to stay with her. Along Christmas, revelations and new feelings are disclosed.

This movie appealed to me so much for two reasons.

Figuring out what you really want

Both lead characters were in a relationship because it looked good not because they actually loved each other. At one point after a squabble they look at themselves in the mirror and Merdith says “Just look at them” as if the people in the mirror were different than who they were. Through this movie Meredith discovers (with helps from Everett’s brother Ben) that she doesn’t actually love Everett and that she needs to let go of the reins a little.

But it was Everett’s search for happiness that resonated with me. Everett was a Type A with a drawer full of plaques and medals who was always doing what he think he should. His family is very bohemian and relaxed and throughout the movie they give him a hard time about his tie which he refuses to change out of.

Everett says something along the lines of “How did you know you wanted your career? How do you know how to say ‘these are the things I want” “this is the thing I’m passionate about?”

This struck a major cord with because at the time I was in an unhappy long term relationship, working 60 hours a week, and in debt up to my eyeballs. I would watch this movie over and over and it would make me think about what was it really I wanted and how I too had to figure out what I wanted. It wasn’t until years later after a break up, a move to Canada and a new boyfriend that when I watched the movie I didn’t feel like searching any more.

Dynamics of a big family

The second reason this movie is so great is because they interact like a real family. Any new girlfriends are met with suspicion and put under a great deal of pressure to impress. I know my sister-in-law found our family extremely intimidating and it took a while before she felt accepted and comfortable. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but that is the nature of a large, close knit family. They’re protective of each other and the family dynamic so they scrutinize anyone who comes into it.

And then of course, it’s Christmas! I had to share this little review (many years after the movie came out) because it is my favourite holiday movie and I think a lot of people would really like it.

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