December 20, 2015

There's No Time Like the Present: The Family Stone (2005)


Isn't it funny how sometimes the very thing that some people, maybe even you, love about the holidays is the very same thing that kind of drives you nuts about it as well? Of course, I'm talking about the hustle and bustle of gift giving, holiday parties, and the biggest thing of all....family time. All that togetherness, which we all know is at the heart of the holidays along with personal beliefs, is supposed to be a reminder to us all to be grateful for what we have right now, but sometimes that message gets lost on in the midst of everything going on, right?

The Family Stone Poster.jpg
With the holidays being at the end of the year, it often comes along with a boatload of year-end retrospective and hindsight clarity that we either purposely or unintentionally postpone all year long. Hey, I'm not judging, I'm right there with the rest of you. But the thing is this particular strategy is probably the very thing that is compounding the stress we experience over the holidays right to the point where we are inevitably forced to contend with our true feelings. And even more importantly, take necessary action. That's a huge pill to swallow, right, but one I suspect many of us end up taking during this most celebratory time or else why would so many overhaul their lives after the new year? The bad news is that when we finally cop to our truth it usually means change is a coming. Hang on, there's good news, too. The good news is that we get to be so much happier as a result of owning up to the realization that our current happiness is worth everything and taking the necessary action to make it come to fruition is nonnegotiable. The movie The Family Stone (2005) is a great reminder to us all about this important lesson to be emphasized during the holidays: that there's no time like the present.

In the movie The Family Stone (2005), Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) brings his girlfriend Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker) home for the holidays, to meet his family. Despite the Stone's initial attempts at politeness with Meredith, there was a huge elephant in the room: Everett's clear romantic mismatch with Meredith. Things quickly go awry as Meredith tries to "fit in" with the close knit family, who really don't have anything against her, they just don't think Everett and Meredith belong together. Things get even more complicated when Meredith asks her sister Julie (Claire Danes) to come join her for support.

After Meredith puts her foot in her mouth during a dinner conversation about sexual orientation and her sister doesn't have her back (rightfully so), she ends up spending some time with Everett's brother Ben (Luke Wilson), who provides the much needed comfort she desired; comfort that her boyfriend Everett couldn't (or wouldn't) provide. At that point, the tide begins to shift for several members of the Stone family and the Morton sisters; particularly for Everett, Meredith, Ben, and Julie. Meredith ends up falling for Ben and Everett realizes that he is drawn to Meredith's sister Julie. And though the family was initially shocked at the romantic switch-a-roo, the shock soon wore off as they all wanted nothing more than for everyone, even their holiday guests the Morton sisters, to seize their opportunities to be happy and not waste any time in doing so; particularly in light of mama Stone, Sybil's (Diane Keaton), fatal illness.



While this movie is a delightfully entertaining dramedy about all the wonderful virtues that we emphasize during the holidays, it is also a great reminder about the importance of not wasting time. That when we know what we want, and sometimes that may take us a minute to figure out, it is absolutely worth the risk to pursue that which will make us happy. That's what Everett and Meredith realized. So, this holiday season, go forth and seize every opportunity you have to uncover your happiness because after all there's no time like the present. Carpe Diem.

The Family Stone is currently streaming on Netflix.

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