The Family Stone (2005)

Feel The Love.

The Family Stone is a comic story about the annual holiday gathering of a New England family, the Stones. The eldest son brings his girlfriend home 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, secrets will be revealed, and the family Stone will come together through its extraordinary capacity for love. Sybil Stone is the strong-willed matriarch who is at the heart of the Stone family, an outspoken woman who wants only the best for her five children. Strikingly beautiful, her face now reflects a recent note of brittleness or fatigue, suggesting that perhaps Sybil carries a secret.


Rachel as: Amy Stone
Other cast: Claire Danes (Julie Morton), Diane Keaton (Sybil Stone), Dermot Mulroney (Everett Stone), Craig T. Nelson (Kelly Stone), Sarah Jessica Parker (Meredith Morton), Luke Wilson (Ben Stone), Tyrone Giordano (Thad Stone), Brian White (Patrick Thomas), Elizabeth Reaser (Susannah Stone Trousdale), Paul Schneider (Brad Stevenson), Savannah Stehlin (Elizabeth Trousdale)
Alternative Title: Untitled Thomas Bezucha Project (Working Title)
Directed by: Thomas Bezucha
Written by: Thomas Bezucha
Production Status: Available on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital HD
World Premiere: November 26, 2005 at Swindon Film Festival, United Kingdom
Theatrical Release: December 16, 2005 (US & UK)
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance
Rated: PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, and drug references
Distributor: Fox 2000 Pictures
Run time: 103 min
Production budget: $17.000.000 (Estimated)
Box office: $60,062,868 (US) | $92,283,851 (Worldwide)
Producers: Michael London, Mindy Marin, Jennifer Ogden
Original Music by: Michael Giacchino
Cinematography by: Jonathan Brown

Related Media

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Production Notes

“I was drawn to the dramatic arc that Amy goes through, which eventually brings her full circle,” says Rachel McAdams. “Amy sees herself as honest, not mean, and expresses that uncensored candor in her sardonic wit.

“Amy instantly rejects Meredith as unsuitable for her brother, because Meredith represents a whole way of living – fashionable yuppie success – that Amy has worked hard to reject,” McAdams continues. “Eventually, she comes to realize that she would reject anyone who was brought into the family from outside, because outside is about change. Amy wants everything to stay the same.”

In New York, Bezucha met with Sarah Jessica Parker, who was winding up production on her hit HBO series, “Sex and the City.” Parker had turned down numerous film roles because of their similarity to her series character, Carrie Bradshaw. “I was willing to wait until a special part came around,” says Parker. “THE FAMILY STONE felt like something different, so I grabbed the opportunity to play Meredith.”

In rapid succession, the filmmakers were able to lock in the rest of the starring cast, including Dermot Mulroney, Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams, Luke Wilson and Craig T. Nelson.

“The actors all told us the same thing when they joined the film,” says Bezucha. “They wanted to be in this movie because they loved the script and were passionate about making the film. Their attitude felt simple and pure, and that’s why all of the elements of the project began to fall into place.”

The actors met during a pre-production rehearsal period in Los Angeles, a luxury not afforded to most feature films. “Thomas knew from the very beginning that getting the actors to interact as a family was going to be very important in making the movie work,” says Sarah Jessica Parker. “During rehearsals, he had the entire cast playing charades, which actually occurs in one sequence of the film. The rehearsals felt like we had left work and were transported home, a place where that playful type of comfort level exists.”

Continue to read production notes

Production Process

Mid-December 2004 it was reported that Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton would star in “The Family Stone” alongside Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney and Luke Wilson, with director Thomas Bezucha. Principal photography began on February 28, 2005 in Gotham. The movie was filmed in Connecticut, California, New Jersey, Los Angeles and New York. The cast met during a pre-production rehearsal period in Los Angeles. During rehearsals the cast played charades like in one of the scenes. Two-thirds of the film is set inside the Stone family residence. Most of the Los Angeles shooting schedule took place on local soundstages, where the filmmakers built the Stone home interiors.

Trivia & Facts

  • The photo that Meredith gives to all of the family members of a pregnant young Sybil is actually a picture of young Diane Keaton. However, Keaton has never been pregnant and the photo was edited to make her look so. The story line tells she was pregnant of Amy (Rachel’s character)
  • Quotes from Rachel

    “We had so much fun. All of the housewives in the neighborhood would stop by with baked goods for Dermot and Luke.”
    On the ensemble cast (Allure)

    Quotes from Cast & Crew

    “It’s a nasty part. There was pressure to cast her in the ingenue role. She refused.”
    Thomas Bezucha, director (Detials)

    “When Wedding Crashers came out, everyone was hyped up, calling Rachel the new It Girl. I felt anxious about that because it’s so diminishing to her talent. You get the impulse—you want to put her in everything. But her selectiveness shows wisdom greater than her years about her place in the industry. She’s very purposeful in side stepping Hollywood. She has the opportunity to be this huge, huge movie star, but in her heart she’s a character actress.”
    Thomas Bezucha, director (Elle)

    “There isn’t a sense that Rachel’s come to the craft as an act of exorcism. She’s not working out her own stuff on set. If she comes with baggage, it’s a carry-on.”
    Thomas Bezucha, director (Elle)

    “I hadn’t been that impressed with someone since I worked with Meryl Streep.”
    Diane Keaton, co-star (Elle)

    “Rachel is just … Nothing short of a little genius and a beauty; everything. She has everything it takes. She is going to do many, many great movies.”
    Diane Keaton, co-star (ET Canada)

    Critical Reception

    “A well-written script and well-judged performances make this a family outing worth taking.”
    Genevieve Harrison (Empire)

    “With its well-crafted script and its cast that effortlessly bonds together and creates a very believable family, “The Family Stone” may well become one of those Christmastime traditions.”
    Caroline Sumner (Helium)

    “Rachel McAdams tops off a star-making year with another great performance.”
    Ben Lee (Music Omh)

    “Just in case McAdams isn’t already the most perfect woman on the face of the planet, her character spends most of the movie wearing a Dinosaur Jr. T-shirt, and she actually pulls off being a grungy bohemian as easily as she does the classy and fashionable woman she’s played in other movies.”
    Edward Douglas (Coming Soon)

    The movie currently holds a 52% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and 56 score at Meta Critics

    Awards & Nominations

    Individual Awards
    ★ 2005 Hollywood Film Awards as Breakthrough Actress
    ☆ 2005 Satellite Awards as Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical
    ☆ 2006 Teen Choice Awards as Movies – Choice Actress: Comedy

    Best Picture Awards
    ☆ 2006 GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Film – Wide Release

    ★ = win ☆ = nomination | View entire list at IMDB

    Promotional Tour

    October 5th 2005 Screen Actors Guild Screening Videos
    October 9th 2005 Los Angeles Press Conference Images
    December 14th 2005 New York Premiere Images
    December 15th 2005 Late Night with Conan O’Brien Outside Videos

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