The Family Stone

Rated 2.0

A man (Dermot Mulroney) brings his uptight girlfriend (Sarah Jessica Parker) home for Christmas with his eccentric family (Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Rachel McAdams, Luke Wilson, et al). Writer-director Thomas Bezucha has a fine ensemble cast (Claire Danes also drops in); too bad all he gives them to work with are predictable situations and characters, forced slapstick, misty sentimentality and lines that sound like they’re out of a correspondence course on generic domestic-drama dialogue. Bezucha should take his own advice (spoken by Wilson) and relax—any movie where the family includes a gay deaf brother (Tyrone Giordano) and his African-American boyfriend (Brian White) is probably trying too hard to cover everything. Still, the actors apply their considerable skills with commendable diligence.