Saturday, December 24, 2005

The family business, and The Family Stone

It was our company Christmas party today: buffet lunch at Kamayan EDSA, with the usual program consisting of awarding of employees (perfect attendance, highest production output, loyalty awards) and raffling of prizes (mostly appliances and a few cell phones, always a crowd favorite). For the first time in 24 years of attending our annual fete, I actually knew who half of the people were, and was even more familiar with their names than my parents. It finally felt like I was not just officially part of the company now, but that I belonged (yes, there is a difference :p). I now have a whole new sense of what "family business" really means, and I think it's just the right way to cap off my first year as C.O.O. ;p

In the afternoon, the 3 of us took our parents to see The Family Stone. 10 minutes into the movie I was already thinking, "Oh shit, it's a talkie; my parents are going to kill us for dragging them along!" Not to mention my mom can't stand Sarah Jessica Parker. A few weeks back when I saw her (Parker) on The Tonight Show talking about the movie, I got the impression it would be a ha-ha kind of comedy, but it threw me for a loop. It had its funny moments, yes, but it was a full-length dramedy more than anything.

Miraculously though, our parents didn't hate the movie! I didn't love it but I did appreciate it on some levels, and I confess I cried more than once (c'mon, I was with my family watching a family Christmas flick 2 days before Christmas-- what kind of heartless bastard wouldn't have been moved??). My favorite sniffle scene: when the older sister curled up next to their mom in bed. What a pass-the-Kleenex moment.

Other scenes that had me tearing up:

  • when Luke Wilson broke down in the bleachers beside their dad
  • when Diane Keaton threw a fork at her deaf gay son and told him he was "more normal than any asshole sitting at the table".
  • when Diane Keaton told Dermott Mulroney he didn't have to be so perfect
  • when Rachel McAdams cried upon seeing the photograph of their mom pregnant with her
Speaking of McAdams, I have newfound respect for her after seeing this movie. She played the bitchy sister to perfection (so Mean Girls wasn't a case of beginner's luck after all). I also give credit to Her Snootiness Claire The-Philippines-is-icky Danes, for being so believable as Sarah Jessica Parker's nice sister (the irony!), it almost made me forget how she said Filipinos have no arms and legs... almost. Craig T. Nelson's subtle but strong performance was a revelation; I loved that dinner table scene where he finally exploded at the insensitive girlfriend. And the gay couple was just adorable to watch together.

Overall, the best thing I can say about The Family Stone is that it is a very real movie, insomuch as it captures the quirks, flaws and dysfunctions of family dynamics. My biggest complaint is that it had something of a saccharine-sweet, fairy-tale ending (blech), which took away from the candid beauty of the touching and poignant bits. But what the hell, it's a Christmas movie, so I can pardon the putrid pulchritude. It's the season of giving and forgiving, after all.


At Wednesday, December 28, 2005, Anonymous karen said...


hahah jk wala lang para magkacomment.

At Wednesday, December 28, 2005, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I'm not getting roped into another never-ending debate with you over this movie. :p


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