Tag Archive: the family stone

The Last Piece of Christmas

Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


Image by Kevin Rosseel

This past week I noticed that there were Christmas bulbs on the new trees in our downtown area. The ornaments are in colors of green, red and gold, making our downtown look a little festive.


So does the new Christmas tree that is over by the railroad building. It is full and bushy, decorated as it should be for the holiday.


I don’t know about you but I am ready for the holidays to be over. It has been crazy busy at my house and just when I think I have a night at home another ‘holiday’ activity has found its way onto our calendar.


So while I hope for some time to clean my house from more than its usual wreck, I am also planning to watch a few movies on those nights I plan to wrap a few presents.


Once the kids go to bed, I bring out the stash of presents, paper, scissors, tape and marking pen to begin the task of making magic happen. I pick out a movie, pour out some egg nog and get to the task at hand.


Kate and Jack in "The Holiday," Image from IMDb.com.

One movie for this “me” time that I love is The Holiday starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as women trading homes during the holidays. Both have broken hearts and need new sights to help the healing process. New connections are formed as these women meet the other’s family members, neighbors and friends.


They both find love and perhaps something more important, a renewed sense of self. It doesn’t hurt that the incredible Jude Law is one of the suitors and Jack Black shows vulnerability that makes him more accessible.


If I want a good cry, the Christmas movie of choice for me is The Family Stone starring Diane Keaton and Craig T. Nelson. Here we follow a family who is about to meet the girlfriend of one son. She appears to be as uptight as this family is relaxed or maybe its nerves and wanting to do the right thing.


Meeting the family in "The Family Stone," Image from IMDb.com

Of course, there are things that complicate everything. A hidden medical diagnosis, a pregnancy for one sister, another who is greatly opposed to this new person. Then there are the brothers, one of whom is deaf and gay, the other a pot-smoking filmmaker. And just when it could not get worse, the sister of the girlfriend shows up and changes the game entirely for the boyfriend.


But there is a moment that changes everything for me, a food disaster that leads to a moment of bonding with the women. From that moment on I cry on and off. I have done this ever since I watched this movie for the first time.


Let me wish you and yours  a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Until next year, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

One of the great things about being a movie reviewer is seeing newer actors and watching their careers develop.

When Rachel McAdams started showing up in movies, I really liked her.

Mean Girls with Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried, picture from IMDb.com

I enjoyed her brief time on screen in The Hot Chick with Rob Schneider. a raunchy movie for older teens and young 20somethings. But then she was the Queen Bee in Mean Girls (perfect teen girl movie) and it started her towards a road of good and interesting roles.

Take a moment to compare her to Lindsey Lohan who was the ‘star’ of Mean Girls. Lohan had a few good roles and then went on the crazy train. But McAdams has stayed even-keeled and continues to have a solid career.

Her next big movie was The Notebook (2004), perhaps one of the most romantic movies ever, in which she plays a woman who has a great love, loses that love and finds it again with Ryan Gosling.

With Cillian Murphy in Red Eye, picture from IMDb.com

But then McAdams went on to make some movies that were more adult fare consisting of  The Wedding Crashers with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, Red Eye with Cillian Murphy, The Family Stone with Diane Keaton and Craig T. Nelson, and The Time Traveler’s Wife with Eric Bana. One of her bigger movies to date has been Sherlock Holmes as the former love interest of Robert Downey Jr. who always has an ulterior motive for every thing she does.

I mention all of this because McAdams’a latest movie in which she has the lead role is coming to the home theater market.  Morning Glory tells the story of a TV morning show producer who is learning how to balance life and work, be it successful or failing.

With Harrison Ford in Morning Glory, picture from IMDb.com

The anchors are portrayed by Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford. They do not always get along and Ford finds his latest job beneath his dignity. All of them muddle through the experience and find something new. It is a movie that is not exactly a romantic comedy and not exactly a dramedy, maybe a little breezy. But it looks like a whole lot of fun for adults looking to take a break.

This is one movie I never got to see in the theater but I am looking forward to watching it with a big bowl of popcorn. So what if there are no explosions or chase scenes involving deadly force. I think I am ready for a bit of a smart and fun slice of life movie with Rachel.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note below.