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"The Family Stone's" opening titles suggest a classic fairy tale: The setting is Connecticut, snow falls, and boy (Dermot Mulroney) brings home girl (Sarah Jessica Parker) to meet family at Christmas. Things immediately begin to go awry when family hates her. Girl retreats to inn, summons sister (Claire Danes), and romantic escapades ensue. Fortunately, boy has an attractive brother (Luke Wilson), so no one is short a partner. The family also includes a sensitive father (Craig Nelson), a warm but exacting mother (the exquisite Diane Keaton), and various other interesting members.

This movie isn't perfect, but the production values are superb, and the cast doesn't miss a step. Parker demonstrates her genius at light comedy in the difficult role of a rigid New Yorker, and she is thoroughly supported by Rachel McAdams, as the family's nasty younger sister. Despite initial appearances, it is not a typical family, and its values are not traditional. What begins with the promise of a standard feel-good Christmas movie is clearly not for children, and as the movie evolves we see that it is as much about family bonds and sorrows as it is about comedy (of which it has plenty).

-- Catherine F. Parker, Amherst


Based on the wonderful series by J.K. Rowling, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is a must-see this season. The movie xis about Harry Potter's fourth year at the wizard school Hogwarts. Harry is mysteriously entered into the Triwizard Tournament. Nobody knows how he made it into the tournament, because there is a spell that won't let those under age 17 enter. The tournament is very dangerous and can result in death. What happens to Harry? You'll just have to see the movie.

Although I thought this movie was very good, I didn't like that it was a lot darker than the rest of the films. It also had a lot more teenage conflict, there wasn't a lot of magic involved, and the characters didn't really go to classes that much. Worst of all, though, was that Draco Malfoy was not in a lot of the movie.

Even with these little problems, the movie was very enjoyable. It wasn't my favorite movie in the series, but still a must-see.

-- Rachel Miner, Williamsville

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