Time: 103 mins.
SYNOPSIS: The eldest son brings his girlfriend home on Christmas to meet his parents, brothers and sisters. The bohemian Stones greet their visitor a high-powered, controlling New Yorker with a mix of awkwardness, confusion and hostility. Before the holiday is over, relationships will unravel while new ones are formed.
BOTTOM LINE: Despite the marketing campaign, this film is not a comedy and thus it was hard for me to switch gears once that became evident. Had I known it was more of a family drama, I might have enjoyed the experience more. Parker does a complete 180° turn here as Meredith, an uptight, ambitious New Yorker, who can't seem to fit in with the flighty, progressive family of her boyfriend Everett (Mulroney). Try as she might she continually sticks her foot in her mouth, and even the presence of her more open-minded sister Julie (Danes), who she begs to show up, only seems to make matters worse.
What she doesn't realize is that the family is battling devestating news, which sort of makes their behavior towards Meredith somewhat understandable, but not quite. He goes there planning to propose, but no one in his family wants him to. There are some touching moments and funny episodes, but the story just feels contrived, especially with the way the relationship between Meredith and Everett ends up. It's not remotely believable and a bit condescending. I guess they didn't want the film to end on a sad note, but there had to be better options than this neat little ending of family harmony. If you like the cast, you'll probably enjoy this film well enough. However, none of them really does anything out of the ordinary and the situations are nothing you haven't seen many times before. A time-passer at best.