I find Love, Actually about as effective as emotional crack, but if I had to pick my favorite holiday movie of recent years, I’d probably actually name the unfairly overlooked The Family Stone:
The movie’s somewhat forgotten as part of Sarah Jessica Parker’s efforts to find a role other than Carrie Bradshaw to carry her into the future. And there’s an extent to which it’s a goofy, fish-out-of-water movie. But it’s also a surprisingly raw movie about the complicated emotions we all have about the holidays and our families, a movie that insists that mastectomy scars can be beautiful, and that isn’t afraid of the ugliness and sadness inside of all of its characters. As a bonus, it features quite a fine performance from Rachel McAdams playing somewhat awful, and I think it’s good for her. Anyway, highly recommended if you need to sneak away from your own family a bit, or if you could all use a good laugh and welling-up together.