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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2006-05-04 - 2:49 p.m.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the monster nap song yesterday. There's still time to add your lyrics.

I ain't no movie hatah, but sometimes a film is so bad that you just have to warn people away.

Such is the awfulness of The Family Stone, which, nevertheless, I watched in rapt horror to the very end, just to see what ridiculous contrivances of plot and character would come up next.

Without going into great detail, it's a film about the tense-making situation of meeting a boyfriend's family for the first time. Oh, and it's Christmas, and there's some cancer.

The script tries to be daring by bein' all screwball comedy one minute and then deathly serious the next, but the effect is jarring.

Good actors (Dermot Mulroney, Diane Keaton) waste their skills playing caricatures...There's a white, deaf, gay character with a black boyfriend which means, in movie short hand, that this character can do no wrong. And there is the uptighty businesswoman new-girlfriend character (Sarah Jessica Parker) who has a severe, librarian-style bun, and we're to understand that because of her uptightnes, and her bun, that she is to be tormented and humiliated and that's OK, because we don't tolerate no uptightness around here in movieland.

Anyway, everybody's mean to everybody, couples couple and uncouple, and everybody cries. A bus with a lost love interest pulls away from the curb, then backs up and lets the not-really-lost love interest back out. Zzz, I can't even finish this review.

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