BY KILEY BELL
The gist: The completely relatable story of what happens when your whole family gets together for the holidays. Starting with one deaf brother and his partner, a stubborn and often annoyed sister (played by Rachel McAdams), an overly relaxed stoner brother in the form of Luke Wilson, the older about-to-pop pregnant sister and her other child, the tight-laced oldest brother played by Dermot Mulroney, the father that tries to take charge, and Diane Keaton as the mother who holds the whole crazy family together (and is somewhat of a puppet master). Add in the fact that Mulroney’s character brings his workaholic, stilletto-wearing girlfriend (Sarah Jessica Parker) to Christmas and things get messy, especially since half the family dislikes her. Did I mention that the girlfriend thinks it’s also a good idea to bring her sister along?
Naughty or nice: Definitely nice. This movie has the type of “feel-good” warm fuzzies that we all crave from our holiday movies.
Why it gets us in the spirit: As a movie centered around a functionally dysfunctional family, it’s funny, awkward, cute and festive. The main reason why it’s so great though is the unexpected ending where the movie takes a bit of a turn. You’ll be shedding some tears before you can even understand how the movie changed so suddenly.
Magic moment: The ending. The ending. The ending. I can’t stress this enough. Even if you’re unsure whether or not you’ll like the movie, you must stick it out until the last minute because that’s really what makes the movie completely worth watching.
Santa sighting: While Kris Kringle doesn’t make an appearance, you do get to see a cute, bleary-eyed Luke Wilson in most scenes, which is honestly a better sight.
Accompanying carol: “Right Back Where We Started From” by Maxine Nightingale is the main song for the film. It’s oddly not a Christmas carol (which you would expect from a holiday movie) but it’s still the perfect catchy song to keep with the uplifting feel of the movie.
Perfect present for: It would be a great gift for any recent addition to your family like your in-laws or your brother’s new girlfriend that he finally decided to bring home. (But also any member of your family, whether it’s your siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, or cousins.)[youtube http://youtu.be/_wM0Zn3493o]
A student of Centennial’s post-graduate Book and Magazine publishing program, Kiley enjoys spending most of her time crying over Tom Hanks romcoms, watching Downton Abbey and hoping that Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen continue making movies with only each other.