TMG Scale 8.0
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Craig T. Nelson, Dermot Mulroney

A great holiday film for the ages.  Watch this one at Thanksgiving or Christmas with all the adult family.  Don’t be turned off because it starts with those old fashioned cornball credits at the start. It is just designed to set a funky tone.  And this movie is funky throughout and full of laughs. Anyone who has a brought a date or a potential mate home to meet the family (especially a big and diverse family) will really relate and enjoy this effort.

A totally modern family of former hippie parents, a gay son and his Black partner, a wild child (McAdams), the prodigal son Ben, (Wilson), and the metro sexual successful businessman son named Everett (Mulroney) and more,  all come home for the holidays.   Think of The Big Chill (1993) but with only siblings.  Each character is full of their own issues. None more than Everett’s fiance to be Meredith Morton (Parker).  Meredith has an elitist snob stick the size of a giant redwood up her back end.  It takes younger brother Ben to get her back down to earth. TMG’s favorite line by Ben to Meredith “Everyone has a freak flag. You just don’t fly yours often enough.”

This film also teaches lessons of tolerance.  Tolerance not only of those of different race, gender, persuasion and economic level, but also tolerance of generation prejudice.  Keaton may play the overly liberal Mom who is thrilled  she had a gay son, her mere age reflects intolerance of  other lifestyle choices. We learn we all have some built in prejudice that needs to be faced. No one is perfect.  Families are imperfect. But if we love each other and learn to contribute to each other, we all benefit.

A funny little side note.  Luke Wilson’s character is named Ben Stone. Who recalls what other famous character had that same name? Michael J. Fox played Dr. Ben Stone in Doc Hollywood—the 1991 comedy classic about a young doctor waylaid in a small town. TMG says it is also a great film the whole family can enjoy.