My family hits the theater on Christmas day or thereabouts and sometimes we've picked winners and sometimes - the more memorable ones, unfortunately - we've picked some doozies. I'll admit I enjoyed seeing My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Rumor Has It, The Holiday, The Pursuit of Happyness, and other fuzzy flicks with my loved ones during the winter holidays. However, one year my mom and I went to see The Family Stone thinking it would be a fluffy comedy slash love story slash playfully warm family film, as it had been marketed: Sarah Jessica Parker plays the typical Type A businesswoman who goes to spend Christmas with her boyfriend's quirky family in suburbia and loosens up. She gets a snowball in the face, eggnog is drunk, secrets are told, harmless drama occurs but everyone makes up over the dinner table, and so on.
Instead, we ended up spending 103 agonizing minutes with a shrill SJP facing off against an entire family of smug liberals (the NPR supporter, the gay and deaf brother, the pothead creative guy - is there a list of "quirky" stereotypes somewhere that the writers were working from?) who have already decided to not like her. I won't give away the final twist, but it's a low blow that left me feeling tricked and hopping mad at whoever cut the trailers to make The Family Stone look like anything but a downer.
Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I invite you guys to share your own painful family movie-going experiences, holiday-related or not. Maybe that time Dad took you to see Apocalypse Now Redux for your birthday? Or when Mom dragged you to see A Chorus Line as a child? When Gramps made you all watch that Noam Chomsky doc after Thanksgiving dinner? Commiserate in the comments.