An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.
Single-girl anxiety causes Kat Ellis to hire a male escort to pose as her boyfriend at her sister's wedding. Her plan, an attempt to dupe her ex-fiancé, who dumped her a couple years prior, proves to be her undoing.
Everett Stone, who made it on Wall Street, returns home for Christmas with his bride Meredith Morton. His ultra-liberal, anti-conventional rustic Connecticut family doesn't exactly warm to the outsider, who despite her best efforts to please prospective in-laws looks, sounds and acts like the conservative bigots they hate, while various Stones have their own problems. Only matriarch Sibyl Stone's unshakable maverick other son Ben gives her a chance, and as Everett won't actively turn against either, she feels more supported by him and a weird romance blossoms. feeling beleaguered, Meredith calls in help from her easygoing sister Julie, who proves no help to her but soon develops a chemistry with Everett, so everything may now shift if they dare follow their hearts.Written by
During the film's Christmas Eve montage, as Thaddeus (Ty Giordano) and Patrick (Brian White) stroll hand-in-hand toward the inn, Patrick signs in American Sign Language that the evening sky looks beautiful, to which Thaddeus responds "No, you're beautiful." See more »
When Ben is telling Meredith not to dilly dally, his shirt is outside of his pants. Then when he is talking to Everett it is tucked inside his pants. See more »
[to Amy, after opening Meredith's Christmas gift, a photo of a very pregnant Sybil]
That's me and you, kid.
[Amy looks up, crying and nodding]
Me and you.
See more »
I must disagree with many of the film's critics who found this to be a pleasant and amusing view of a complicated family holiday reunion. Perhaps because of my background as a mental health professional, I found this to be a very confusing and inconsistent attempt to picture what could have been a funny family event. The writers touched so many bases that one wonders if five families could have contained the many quirks, pathologies and eccentricities found in this single unit. My overall impression was of the incredible nastiness this family displayed toward the fiancée of the eldest son, a person no one but the youngest daughter had ever met, but who became the target of hostility, primarily based on the report given by the nasty little sister. The fact that the parents were incapable of maintaining even a modicum of civility or to set the example for the children, speaks to their dysfunction rather than the humor of the situation. Yes, I realize that a terminal illness was also an issue, and yes, Keaton is a fine actress, but her character failed the test of grace--more the writer's fault than Keaton's.
I think that what would actually have happened in this situation is that either the eldest son would have upbraided his family for their boorish and cruel behavior, taken his fiancée and left(if he was really committed)telling them they could call him when they grew up; or, the fiancée, seeing that he was not really committed, would have left, herself. However, had either of these things happened, the movie would have been about 20 minutes long, too short for Roger Ebert to have waxed eloquent.
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