Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Family Stone

It’s that time of year, again. The time of year that has inspired many truly wonderful films, and just as many terrible ones. The holidays. I’d like to begin by noting that with just one exception (Only You), I own every movie I have recapped on here on DVD. This, I am aware, makes me either a hypocrite or a masochist, but my tendency to buy terrible movies is at its worst when it comes to Christmas movies. Because I love Christmas, and my thought process doesn’t go beyond “This will help me get in the Christmas spirit.” And so it is that I somehow find myself willingly watching The Family Stone every December, despite the fact that I don’t like it even a little (see also: The Holiday).

Brief disclaimer: Due to a very poorly-timed illness, this was partially written while under the influence of cold medicine. Also, my normal photo editing software has spontaneously stopped working, so the images were made in Paint, and aren't quite up to the STELLAR quality you usually find here on Recapscallion.


The opening shot is of the back of Sarah Jessica Parker’s head as she answers her cell phone. Her hair is in a complicated bun, because she is a tightly-wound person. Clever movie! She’s at a department store, Christmas shopping while she bosses somebody around on the phone, pausing only to tell her boyfriend, Everett “Shoe Polish” Stone, that he’s buying the wrong color scarf for his sister.


He forcibly takes the phone away from her and hangs it up, but takes her advice on the scarf.

Cue opening credits! The credit sequence, which involves gaudy, old-timey Christmas cards behind each cast and crew member’s name, is the first indication of the sad but true fact that the people making this movie were clearly under the impression that they were creating a legitimate holiday classic.


The final card shows an illustration of a beautiful house, which then transitions into its IRL counterpart: the Stone estate. The entire Stone family will be gathering there for Christmas, and SJP will be meeting all of them for the first time. I bet that what's going to happen is the family greets her in a kind and respectful manner befitting a group of grownups.

Shoe Polish’s little bro Thad and his partner Patrick arrive and unload a shitload of Christmas gifts from the trunk. Meanwhile, inside, Diane Keaton is staring morosely at the Christmas tree and fondling a snowflake ornament. She drops the sad face when her guests enter, and they make family-style small talk about holiday recipes and when the other family members will arrive. They also speak in sign language, since Thad is (partially?) deaf. They will also do the sign language thing even when Thad is not around throughout the movie, because they are such a unique and wacky and loveable gang.

The Stone patriarch, played by Craig T. Nelson, comes in with a plate of brownies, just as an unbelievably shitty yellow station wagon pulls into the driveway, driven by Shoe Polish’s little sister, Rachel McAdams (who is wearing frumpy clothes and glasses and carries an NPR totebag). She’s pretty much a GDB, as we’ll soon learn, so I’m going to go ahead and call her Bitchface from here on out.

SJP is very nervous about spending the holidays with the family, as evidenced by her irritating throat-clearing tick as she and Shoe Polish drive to the house.  Meanwhile, Bitchface is regaling the whole family with the story of the time she went to dinner with Shoe Polish and SJP, complete with an impression of the throat-clearing thing. She goes on and on about how uptight SJP is, and her dad tells her to be nice while Diane Keaton just LOLs (because Bitchface is basically just a mini-Diane Keaton, but meaner).

The other Stone sister, played by Esme Cullen, arrives with her daughter Elizabeth. As the whole family hypothesizes about just how awful SJP probably is, Thad sees them pull into the driveway. SJP has a moment that reminds me strongly of The Holiday (red flag!) when she has trouble getting out of the car because her fancy stilettos get stuck in the gravel driveway. Craig T. Nelson rushes out to greet them and SJP awkwardly tries to shake his hand. He goes in for a hug anyway, and it’s way over-the-top awkward.


Inside, everybody greets SJP except Diane Keaton and Bitchface, who are already soooo amused by what an uptight loser she is that they have to turn their faces away while giggling like a couple of assholes. Shoe Polish introduces SJP to Thad, and of course she decides to yell “HELLO, I’M SJP! I’VE HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT YOU!” in his face. He’s just like “???”

When SJP finally makes her way over to Diane Keaton, DK says some words of welcome in a voice dripping with sarcasm. Esme Cullen is the Stone with the best social graces, so she quickly steps in to introduce herself and her daughter, who compliments SJP’s shoes. For some reason this leads to a really awkward silence while everybody looks at her feet.

They then decide to take a family photo even though not everybody has arrived yet, but SJP awkwardly stays out of it. I’m going to need a thesaurus or else this recap will have the word “awkward” in it a million times.

After this moment of beautiful family togetherness, yet another thorny situation arises because SJP thinks it’s inappropriate for her and Shoe Polish to sleep in the same room. They have a big argument about it, and Diane Keaton reacts in typically delicate fashion, asking her son “So what you’re saying is you just don’t screw?” while laughing maniacally. To make matters worse, it turns out that now SJP will be taking over Bitchface’s room, relegating Bitchface to the couch. She does not take it well, as you may expect.


While Elizabeth is in the middle of asking SJP why she doesn’t want to share a room with her friend, SJP gets a call from her sister. She makes everybody else leave the room so she can take the call. Bitchface manages to do a mean impression of SJP’s throat-clearing tick on her way out.

SJP tells her sister that the family already hates her, and then “comically” responds to an unheard question: “YES I’m being myself!” LOL?

After she gets off the phone, she goes to Shoe Polish’s room and finds him grumpily unpacking. She asks him not to be mad at her, and after pouting for a little while longer he relents and makes a crack about how she won’t be getting any sweet lovin’. Thank god. I was worried about their love for a minute.

She sees a bunch of award plaques stashed in a drawer and asks Shoe Polish why he doesn’t have them out, which makes you wonder how many obnoxious trophies and ribbons she has in her own childhood bedroom. This is the first sign of Shoe Polish’s very serious psychological dilemma about being the perfect son. It’s a super interesting plot point that is very true to life and I’m really excited to see where they go with it!

SJP expresses the very reasonable and understandable point that meeting the whole family is not easy for her, and they hug and then admire themselves in the mirror for a while. Sorry guys, but Beyoncé and Idris Elba are already the perfect couple. You’ll have to settle for second place.

Downstairs, Bitchface is very excited to find that the last Stone brother, Ben, has arrived. He is played by Luke Wilson, who will do his best to liven up this dud of a movie but will ultimately fail. Anyhow, Bitchface doesn’t even say hello before telling him that she can’t wait until he meets SJP, because obviously he will hate her. He is the laid-back mellow fun guy, a point driven home by the greeting he is given by Diane Keaton: “No smoking pot in the house!” Because, you see, Ben is The Family Stoner. DK also makes a comment about Christmas not being “clothing optional” this year because of SJP, which really makes me wonder what happens when this family gathers without outsiders. Because aside from Christmas at your local nudist colony, there’s no situation in which it’s not super weird for a grown man to swan around naked during the family festivities.

Elizabeth comes running to greet Ben, wearing SJP’s fancy heels, just as SJP and Shoe Polish come downstairs. Ben gazes in wonder at SJP as she descends, because (spoiler alert) he is falling in love with her at first sight. This is Luke Wilson’s “love at first sight face”:


Apparently this facial expression is easily recognizable as attraction in the Stone family because Bitchface smacks him in the back of the head, leading Shoe Polish to smack Bitchface in the back of HER head. Fun family hijinks!

In the kitchen, Ben says hello to the rest of the family. For some reason he calls Thad “Queen B” which is really kind of weird, but I’m glad that he does because I’m now just going to imagine that he is actually Blair Waldorf for the rest of the movie. I think it’s going to improve things GREATLY.

Elizabeth is sitting at the table and playing with SJP’s shoes, and one of the heels is BROKEN. Uh oh! You know how ladies are about their shoes.

SJP puts on a brave face but is clearly shaken by this tragedy. Ben is oblivious and just compliments the color of the shoes as SJP flees the room to be alone with her feelings. He makes matters worse by joking that she shouldn’t leave for long, because everybody will just be talking about her while she’s gone.

He makes good on that promise by asking Shoe Polish if he remembers their 2nd grade teacher, on whom he had a big crush, implying that SJP reminds him of her. He then describes SJP as “sweet” and “incredible” which, like, ok, maybe you have the hots for her because of some unresolved stern teacher type fetish from your childhood, but literally the only thing she has done since you met her was to not scream at a child for breaking her shoe. But ok. True love!

Shoe Polish is grateful that there is at least one person who doesn’t already hate his girlfriend, so he pretends it's not super weird that Ben is being incredibly obvious about his attraction to SJP. Esme Cullen is skeptical but diplomatic. Thad quietly sits on Ben’s lap with a smirk on his face.


That night, SJP shares the story of how she and Shoe Polish met while they go out to get pizza with Bitchface, Thad and Ben. It was a classic story of Boy meets Girl in Hong Kong. Boy decides not to go on some spiritual pilgrimage to a monastery he had planned because he has the hots for Girl. I think they may be trying to tell us something about the nature of their relationship here, but I just can’t make out what it is! Subtlety is beautiful.

Of course the way SJP tells it has a LOT more details about which hotels they were staying at and a bunch of stuff about business meetings, and the story “hilariously” lasts throughout the entire car ride AND while they pick up the pizza AND presumably for the whole ride home because she’s still talking when they sit down to eat in the living room. Thad and Bitchface make bitchfaces the whole time, but Ben of course is captivated and asks SJP what she was wearing. I’m sorry, but WTF, man???

Toward the end of the story, Bitchface starts giving Shoe Polish shit about his tie, and Diane Keaton charmingly shouts “Will you take that goddamn tie off already?” Wearing a tie at your parents’ house is super rude, after all. I admire her prior restraint. SJP just ignores this and continues with the story, finishing off by saying that they spent their first night together with her helping Shoe Polish with some IPO-related report thingy. Business stuff. Everybody finds this just as fascinating as I do.


When everybody is finished with their pizza, Diane Keaton starts bringing the dishes into the kitchen, and Shoe Polish follows her, saying he has something he needs to talk to her about. She deflects him, though, probably sensing that he might try to have a reasonable conversation with her about something reasonable, which is not the Stone way.

After the dishes are done, it's time for charades! As you can imagine, SJP is super into it. After Thad cutely gets Patrick to guess his clue using some sort of super-couple-telepathy, Bitchface declares that it’s SJP’s turn, and that she’ll find a good one for her. Ominous bells chime in the distance.

SJP’s first hint is to mime pulling something over her head, and Ben shouts out “Beekeeper!” I can’t decide if I do or don’t want that to have been a Rushmore shoutout. Eventually Patrick determines that the second word is “bride.” Bitchface chimes in with “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” despite knowing what the actual answer is because that’s just how she rolls. I’m really sorry to spoil the surprise for you, but the movie is “The Bride Wore Black.” After failing at getting anybody to guess the word “wore,” she starts setting up the fourth word, and ends up absentmindedly pointing in Patrick’s general direction, which Bitchface calls her out on in mock outrage.


What’s great about this movie is how naturally all of these situations unfold.

Anyhow, everybody gets really confused and SJP storms out. Ben reads out the answer and they all at least have the decency to give Bitchface a stern look. Except Ben who is just too mellow to be mad at anybody. He gives her a noogie and calls her a “meanie.”

Upstairs, Shoe Polish tries to calm SJP down while she rants about how she doesn’t understand why Bitchface hates her so much. Even though SJP is an irritating caricature of a tightly-wound control freak with few discernible redeeming qualities, Diane Keaton and Bitchface are so way over-the-top mean to her that I begrudgingly have to accept her as a protagonist at this point. She tells Shoe Polish that she sees him starting to look at her the way they do, and he’s like “No way man, what are you talking about?” She gives him an out, saying that she wouldn’t want him to stay with her just because he’s a good guy. He tells her he’s not a good guy, and tries to prove it by putting his hand under her jacket… onto her shoulder?


It’s great that these two actors have so much chemistry. It really sells the stakes of the movie.

Meanwhile, Diane Keaton and Craig T. Nelson are discussing how wrong SJP is for Shoe Polish. DK says that she knows Shoe Polish wants to ask her for her mother’s engagement ring and how she finds that completely vom-inducing. Craig T. Nelson says that he doesn’t understand what Shoe Polish sees in her, which DK finds delightful, but he elaborates that SJP is perfectly fine, but wrong for Shoe Polish. He does some cool logic here: “She’s a fine woman, but she doesn’t seem to know or trust herself very well. Which means, I’m afraid, that our Shoe Polish may not know himself at all.” They both make a frowny face.

The next morning, Diane Keaton is in the kitchen staring wistfully out the window again. I kind of think it would be amazing if there was a twist and it turned out that DK was actually a robot the whole time and whenever anybody leaves the room her default setting is sad window-gazing. But alas. SJP and Bitchface come in and disrupt her reverie.

She retaliates by telling Bitchface that they got a Christmas card from the family of someone named Brad Stevenson, “casually” mentioning that Brad is in town and single. Bitchface refuses to take the bait, so Diane Keaton turns to SJP and says “Brad popped Bitchface’s cherry.”


She continues being gross, saying that Brad still has a thing for her, meaning (in her words) he “must have gotten a taste of something he liked.”

DK leaves and SJP takes the opportunity to awkwardly stand next to Bitchface for an uncomfortably long time before clearing her throat and apologizing for making her sleep on the couch. Bitchface is like “Bitch, please.” SJP has had enough, and gives her the same rant she gave to Shoe Polish the night before about “Whytf don’t you like me? What did I do?” She ends on “I don’t care whether you like me or not,” to which Bitchface bitchily replies, “Aw, of course you do!” Mean, but accurate.

This drives SJP over the edge, and she packs up her stuff and goes to a hotel. Or, because this is a quaint small town, “The Inn.” Everybody watches her pack up the car and makes bitchy comments, except for Ben who sits in the corner by himself, morosely tying his shoes.

Shoe Polish comes back inside to give everybody a stern talking to. He tells them that not only is SJP going to the inn, but she’s also forcing her sister to crash this cozy holiday party. Bitchface is like “What a loser!” causing Shoe Polish to literally slam his fist on the table. He means business! He says he knew that they would all hate on her for a while, but they’ve gone too far and it’s time to play nice.

SJP has apparently been waiting in the car this whole time, and Ben goes out to bring her a cup of coffee. There’s something really bizarre about this character, like he’s a very amiable guy but he clearly has some trouble with social cues and personal space so every conversation he has with SJP is super weird and uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just the weed. Anyway, he asks if she's coming back, and she says yes, she's just going to check in. This part I don't really understand. I could understand if she just left and hung out at the inn for the rest of the day, but apparently she just doesn't want to sleep at the house anymore, but is ok with coming right back and being tormented until bedtime? Whatever.

Ben tells her that he had a dream about her last night. Before he can give her the details, Shoe Polish comes out to take her to the Inn.

Inside, Craig T. Nelson gives the family a less angry version of the speech Shoe Polish just gave, saying that they’re going to be nice to SJP from now on, and to her sister, whenever she arrives. He calls Bitchface out specifically, and she’s like “Why are you picking on me?” Now it’s my turn to say “Bitch, please.” Esme Cullen says that she gives SJP credit for staying. Ben says that he’s ashamed of all of them. But he does it jovially so you know he’s joking. Diane Keaton starts babbling about how Shoe Polish is going to ask her for the ring, and Ben says that Shoe Polish can’t marry SJP, because they don’t love each other.

Cut to Shoe Polish finally asking Diane Keaton for the ring. She is, predictably, a huge asshole about it. He tells her that SJP is the woman that he’s going to marry, and DK is all like:


Anyway, she straight up says no, despite having previously promised him that he could have the ring (back when he was dating somebody she approved of). She then out-assholes herself by saying “I know you’re disappointed, but think how I feel!” Shoe Polish and I are both like “Give me a break, lady.”

Diane Keaton storms into the kitchen and immediately starts yelling about how somebody finished the coffee and didn’t make more. And of course SJP has returned by this point and is in the process of washing out the pot, but DK doesn’t apologize. She just moves on to asking why there’s “crap” all over her desk. And of course it’s the ingredients SJP is using to make breakfast for Christmas morning! She just can’t catch a break. Patrick gives DK a “be nice” look while SJP explains that she wanted to contribute and also make her sister feel at home, and so she’s making a dish that her family always has on Christmas. DK manages a couple of polite responses. Baby steps.

Since he’s been denied his grandma’s ring (which you might also call The Family Stone… clever movie!), Shoe Polish drags Thad with him to the jewelry store to pick out a new one. While they look at different rings, Thad earnestly asks Shoe Polish not to marry SJP. What is the deal with this family? Geez louise. Shoe Polish is just like “Suck it, bro. I’m marrying her.”

Back at home, Esme Cullen goes to check on Diane Keaton, who is napping. She gets in bed with her and starts cuddling, causing Diane Keaton to say “Who else knows?” KNOWS WHAT??? We won't find out until the next scene.

Ben and Craig T. Nelson are randomly sitting on some bleachers in the snow for some unexplained reason, eating brownies. I don’t know if they’re special brownies or not, but probably. Ben says “It’s worse this time, isn’t it?” Craig T. Nelson plays dumb, but Ben says he’s talking about Diane Keaton. Apparently everybody in the Stone family has some kind of secret illness telepathy because they all seem to be simultaneously figuring out that DK is sick based on no evidence. Craig T. Nelson confirms that it’s not looking good, and they just found out a couple of weeks ago. Apparently Diane Keaton didn’t want to tell them until after Christmas. Ben starts crying. It’s actually sad, but if you think about how much of a jerk Diane Keaton is, you’ll feel better.

At home, SJP and Patrick are finishing up the breakfast dish. Diane Keaton comes in and asks if there are mushrooms in it, and Patrick says “Isn’t Shoe Polish allergic to mushrooms?” Couldn’t you have told her that at some point while you were helping her make it, dummy? SJP didn’t know about his allergy. THIS RELATIONSHIP IS DOOMED!

Ben and Craig T. Nelson come home, and Ben immediately gives Diane Keaton a huge hug and says he loves her. She makes an “Oh shit” face. Bitchface senses that something is amiss, and Diane Keaton covers by accusing Ben of getting stoned with his dad.

After this uncomfortable moment passes, Ben asks SJP how he can help with the cooking. But he does it weirdly because he is weird, saying “What can I do to make you happy?” while putting his arm around her.


In town, Shoe Polish and Thad go to pick up SJP’s sister at the bus station. Surprise! It’s Claire Danes. Double surprise! Shoe Polish falls in love with her at first sight. Triple surprise! She falls on her face while getting off the bus. This is just a great scene all around, full of twists and turns, laughter and love.

When they get to the house, everybody fawns all over Claire Danes because she is soooo charming. Bitchface comes in with some bandages for her knee, and Claire Danes says “Ahhh, Bitchface. The mean sister.” Everybody cheerfully LOLs at this, including Bitchface. It all makes sense, really. They like Claire Danes because she, like them, has no tact.

SJP is obviously very cranky about the warm reception she’s getting, and takes her to the bathroom to bandage her up. As soon as they leave, Diane Keaton suggests to Craig T. Nelson that Claire Danes would be perfect for Ben.

In the bathroom, Claire Danes is like “Whytf did you make me come here? Everybody is nice and you’re cooking and everything seems fine.” SJP is like "Don't even get me started."

At dinner, they ask Claire Danes about her job. It’s something to do with artists’ grants. Diane Keaton tries to play matchmaker by saying that Ben edits documentary films. Ben is just like “Yeah… and Bitchface is a teacher (OMG FOR REAL? Her poor students) and Thad’s an architect.” Could you possibly come up with more cliché movie character jobs if you tried? I mean seriously. If Esme Cullen owns a bakery then it’s all over.

Ben takes offense to Diane Keaton saying that he lives in San Francisco, because he actually lives in Berkeley. Don’t ask me, I’m just the recapper. They then have a secret sign language conversation. I don’t speak ASL, but I’m assuming it goes something like this:

Ben: Back the fuck off.
Diane Keaton: Sorry! But you should definitely nail SJP’s sister.

Elizabeth chimes in to say “Grandma just signed something really bad.”

At some point the conversation turns to Thad and Patrick’s plans to adopt a baby. Claire Danes asks if they have a preference for the baby’s race, and SJP is like “Shut up! You can’t ask them that!” But nobody else is offended. In fact for some reason everybody gets a “Claire Danes is the best” look on their face.

SJP decides that maybe they’ll like her too if she asks a bold question. My Christmas present to myself this year is that I’m not going to recap this next part in detail because it’s really excruciating. Suffice it to say that SJP decides to start talking about nature vs. nurture as regards gayness. It comes around to Shoe Polish joking that Diane Keaton wanted all her kids to be gay, and SJP ends up incredulously saying something along the lines of “But nobody would actually WANT their kid to be gay, because their life would be harder.” This doesn’t go over well and everybody double hates SJP again.

SJP storms out yet again. Claire Danes half-heartedly tries to defend her.


SJP tries to drive away, but accidentally crashes into a tree. And then another tree. Claire Danes starts to go out to help her, but Ben stops her and goes out himself. Shoe Polish says that he’s lost his appetite, belatedly sort of taking SJP’s side even though he was hating on her with the rest of them just a moment ago.

Outside, Ben rushes out to find SJP weeping in her car. He tells her that he knows where they should go. They drive off together.

Some time later, Shoe Polish decides to go looking for SJP and Claire Danes says she’ll go with him. They check at the Inn, but she’s not there. Claire Danes asks where Ben might have taken her.

He has taken her to a bar. Where she is now drunk enough to shout things like “I AM NOT A BAD PERSON!” and “I LOVE THE GAYS!” Ben just LOLs and tells her she’s a mess, but that he means that in the best sense. She comes back around to the whole “Why does Bitchface hate me” thing, going on about how she took her to the nicest restaurant she knows and she tries so hard and blah blah blah. Ben tells her that she should just stop trying so hard and learn to relax. He puts his hand over hers for just a little too long, but she’s crunk and doesn’t care all that much. She attempts to relax by imitating Ben's laidback hands-behind-head pose, but ends up just looking like she's being garroted by a ghost.


He tells her that she needs to learn how to fly her “freak flag.”

Elsewhere, Shoe Polish and Claire Danes have apparently given up looking for SJP and are now taking a romantic stroll through town. Claire Danes is telling some really boring story about some guy on some island who built a totem pole and it was the most emotional experience of her life to go see it raised or something. Shoe Polish is like “There is currently a totem pole being raised… in my pants.”

At the bar, SJP is even crunker and has removed her vest, so she’s wearing a pretty see-through white top over a black bra. Ben is greatly enjoying the view of her dancing at the jukebox when a couple of EMTs come in. One of them calls out to him, and SURPRISE! It’s Brad Stevenson, Bitchface’s erstwhile paramour. He’s played by Mark Brendanawicz from Parks and Rec. He dorkily asks Ben if Bitchface is there, and then SJP comes back to the table. Ben introduces them, and SJP excitedly says “Brad Stevenson? Aren’t you the guy that popped Bitchface’s cherry?” She is so excited to meet him that she buys a round for the house.

Back in Boringtown, Shoe Polish and Claire Danes are still having a boring conversation about life choices and shit. Shoe Polish is all like “Do you ever feel like you didn’t choose your own life?” It’s very Nate from Gossip Girl. He brings up the monastery he didn’t go to see because he was distracted by meeting SJP in Hong Kong and Claire Danes is like “Well you should go! Eat Pray Love, man!”

SJP gets REALLY excited when her song comes on the jukebox and she makes Brad dance with her. He is somewhat less than comfortable. She tries to get him to help her figure out why Bitchface hates her, and he’s like “Sorry lady, I haven’t seen her in a year.” She’s shocked to hear this, and tells him he’ll never get her to fall in love with him if she never sees him.


She invites him to come over for Christmas, reasoning that since she made breakfast, she can invite whoever she wants. Brad’s EMT buddy asks if she wants another beer, and she says what she really wants is some weed. If Ben hadn’t already fallen in love with her at first sight, it would definitely happen now.

After their grueling search, Shoe Polish drops Claire Danes off at the Inn, but then asks if she wants to go get coffee in a very flirtatious manner. Her face says “Hell yes,” but since she’s not a completely awful human being, she says no. He leaves, but then 30 seconds later there’s a knock on her door. She goes running over excitedly, but it’s just Craig T. Nelson, asking if she found SJP. Bummersville, Population: Claire Danes.

Shoe Polish goes home and Diane Keaton apologizes. He’s like “You’re not really sorry” and storms away like a petulant child.

Ben and SJP get in the car and she asks him what happened in the dream he had about her. He says that he dreamed that she was a little girl in a nightgown, shoveling snow. SOMEBODY CALL CHRIS HANSEN! Or at least punch in his number just in case. He says that in the dream, he was the snow and she was scooping him up. I think this is supposed to be sweet or heartwarming or something, but it’s just weird and mildly creepy.

Craig T. Nelson goes home and finds Esme Cullen sitting on the couch, talking to her husband on the phone while Bitchface sleeps next to her. Craig T. Nelson is like “Wow, Bitchface sure is nice when she’s sleeping.” DAD BURN! He asks Esme Cullen if she’s going to bed, but she’s watching Meet Me In St. Louis, and doesn’t want to miss her favorite part.

Craig T. Nelson goes upstairs and gets into bed with Diane Keaton and she starts babbling about how she doesn't hate SJP, but she feels sorry for her, and she's sad because Shoe Polish is making such a huge mistake and she won't be around to say "I told you so." Craig T. Nelson promises her that everybody will be fine when she's dead. She says she's scared, and they start to Get It On as Judy Garland bums us all out by singing the most depressing Christmas song of all time ("Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"). It's a shame that the original lyrics were changed for Meet Me In St. Louis because I would LOL forever if the line "Have yourself a merry little Christmas / It may be your last" was sung over this scene.

While Mr. and Mrs. Stone are making love, old-people-style, Thad and Patrick are walking (?) to the Inn holding hands and Claire Danes is staring wistfully out the window, thinking about her inappropriate crush. Shoe Polish, meanwhile, is sitting pantsless in his childhood bedroom, holding the engagement ring he bought in one hand and his cell phone in the other.


He symbolically closes the ring box while he calls SJP, who is asleep in the car with Ben, her head SCANDALOUSLY resting on his shoulder. You just know all four of these assholes are going to change their relationship status to "It's Complicated" tonight.

Christmas morning dawns, and SJP is surprised to find herself in an unfamiliar room with very few clothes on. She is even more surprised when Craig T. Nelson knocks on the door and bursts in on her as she scrambles to get dressed. Craig T. Nelson is like "..."


Downstairs, Diane Keaton surprises Shoe Polish by giving him grandma's engagement ring. He is totally ungrateful though because of his incipient cold feet, and when she tells him not to act like a jerk he just says "Dad put you up to this." She said NOT to act like a jerk, what are you, deaf? ACCIDENTAL THAD BURN!

It's time for a serious chat. Diane Keaton tells Shoe Polish that he's had a charmed life, and he's like "Nuh uh, I have soooo many problems and also you suck." So DK plays her ultimate card, saying that he can't fix the fact that she's sick, not even by getting married. Shoe Polish makes a sad/guilty face.


We are HONESTLY supposed to believe that this GROWN-ASS MAN has decided to get engaged to SJP of all people because he's sad that his mommy is sick???? This is like the great revelation and the root of all his problems???? GIVE ME SO MANY BREAKS.

ANYWAY. They start weeping and hugging because they've made such a huge breakthrough in regards to Shoe Polish's psyche. Vom! DK tells him to try not to be so perfect and he weeps even more. Then she finally has a SOMEWHAT decent mom moment, telling him that she doesn't want him to miss out on life because he thinks he has to fit in to some imaginary whatever life, but that the ring is his if that's what he wants to do. But she's still an asshole, I don't even care.

Claire Danes unexpectedly comes in and catches them weeping together.


Shoe Polish gets stars in his eyes immediately, and when she tries to make a hasty exit he stops her.

Meanwhile, SJP is upstairs in Ben's room and is freaking out. She's about to sneak out when Ben comes out of the bathroom wearing only a towel. He asks how she slept, and she responds by slapping him in the face so hard that everybody can hear it from downstairs. PLEASE. I have slapped a lot of faces in my day, and I like to think I'm pretty good at it, but that's just not possible.

In the kitchen, Shoe Polish is showing grandma's ring to Claire Danes. Because he is a grown man with a keen sense of respectful and appropriate behavior, he asks her to try it on. She's like "Um... no?" He keeps insisting, and Diane Keaton is like "?????" and Claire Danes is like "My hands are bigger than hers" and Shoe Polish is like "I JUST WANT TO SEE WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE ON A HUMAN HAND! THIS IS NOT AT ALL WEIRD!" He finally jams it on her finger and then they have a Moment. Craig T. Nelson walks in and is like "Weird vibe."

This totally natural situation which arose from very understandable actions by characters who behave just like people you and I know in real life becomes even MORE hilarious when it transpires that the ring is stuck on Claire Danes's finger, as result of her having bigger hands than SJP.


Everybody flocks to the kitchen to see what the kerfuffle is and Claire Danes is soooo embarrassed that she starts crying. Somebody says they should try using butter, and of course Diane Keaton is like "DON'T BREAK IT!" Craig T. Nelson gives Shoe Polish a knowing look.

Apparently it has taken this whole time for SJP to recover from slapping Ben in the face and leave his room. Ben tries to stop her, but she just hisses "How dare you!" and storms off.

Downstairs, Thad insensitively asks why Claire Danes is crying, and she's like "I'm not crying I'm just allergic to diamonds!" and runs away to the bathroom. Shoe Polish follows, and runs into SJP coming down the stairs. She pretends that she just got there and Craig T. Nelson is just like:


SJP goes into the bathroom to see what's up with her histrionic sister, and the commotion FINALLY wakes up Bitchface, who I had actually forgotten was in this movie for one blissful minute. Shoe Polish doesn't even try to explain the situation to her because it's too early in the morning to be laughed at derisively.

Ben comes bopping downstairs jovially, and Craig T. Nelson drags him away for a little chat.

In the bathroom, Claire Danes shows SJP the ring and tells her that Shoe Polish is going to propose. SJP OMGs very loudly, and Shoe Polish, eavesdropping, looks like he's going to vom.

After her initial excitement, it finally strikes SJP as odd that Claire Danes is wearing her engagement ring. She weakly explains that Shoe Polish just wanted to see the ring on, and SJP asks why he wanted to see it on HER. Claire Danes is just like "Uh... Where were you last night?" SJP says she can't tell her, then coyly smells a bar of soap (not joking) so that Claire Danes will know that she was with someone last night. Claire Danes is incredulous but secretly thrilled on account of how she wants to Do It with Shoe Polish, and SJP is clearly so thrilled at how baaaad she is that she can't even keep herself from smiling when she says "I'm so ashamed."

Meanwhile, the family continues trying to find a suitable answer to why Claire Danes was wearing the ring in the first place (spoiler alert: there isn't one), and the doorbell rings. Bitchface bitchily yells "Who the hell is THAT?"

SURPRISE! It's Mark Brendanawicz, who took SJP at her drunken word last night, apparently. He  drove the ambulance there this morning, and is still in his EMT uniform. He stands on the porch with a poinsetta in one hand and an unwrapped gift in the other, saying Bitchface's name over and over.

Bitchface answers the door and is like "WTF?" He tells her that SJP invited him.

Meanwhile, Claire Danes and SJP are STILL in the bathroom. Claire Danes starts scolding her and SJP starts to actually look a bit ashamed, and then asks to see the ring again. CD obliges, and she says "...that's it?" Who's the bitchface now?

In the living room, the family has decided to just get on with it and start opening presents, because who knows how long the Great Bathroom Summit is going to last. Bitchface comes back in with Mark Brendanawicz, and everybody is THRILLED to see him. The Stone family is soooo quirky and cool that they don't even question why some rando has wandered into their house on Christmas morning. I wish they would adopt me!

SJP and Claire Danes finally emerge from the bathroom, and Bitchface says "So! How do you know Mark Brendanawicz?" in an accusatory tone of voice. SJP starts looking ashamed again and Shoe Polish raises his eyebrow. Mark Brendanawicz, unable to read a room, says "LOLOL we were all CRUNK at the bar last night, duh-doy!"

Ben and Esme Cullen wisely decide to completely ignore the awkward situation. He opens his gift from her, a suit jacket which he is thrilled with.

SJP takes their lead and swiftly exits her own awkward conversation to announce that she has something for everyone. She hands out identical gifts to everyone, and they're all like "I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT THIS GUEST IN OUR HOME BROUGHT US CHRISTMAS PRESENTS. IS THIS A NORMAL CUSTOM OF EARTHLINGS??"

They all unwrap them together, and find that SJP has framed a picture of a super pregnant Diane Keaton for all of them.

Everybody gets SUPER emotional about it, like it's the greatest thing they've ever seen. Bitchface actually starts crying, despite the fact that I'm pretty sure she's the only one in the family who doesn't know about DK Death Watch yet. Anyhow, everybody tearfully thanks SJP, and she's TOTALLY forgiven for being such a square, all because she went to Kinko's and reminded everybody that this mother of five was once pregnant. Diane Keaton actually says "You did good."

Bitchface starts to thank SJP, but either she can't bring herself to do something so un-Bitchfacey or is too overcome with emotion to get the words out.

Shoe Polish chooses this moment to tell SJP that they need to talk. She thinks he's going to propose to her, so she tries to escape, saying that she's going to start heating up the weird breakfast dish she was cooking yesterday. He pulls her back, and she shouts "NO I WILL NOT MARRY YOU!"

Mark Brendanawicz has the perfect reaction to this.


Shoe Polish is like "Bitch, please. I didn't even ask you." Meanwhile, Claire Danes is looking like the cat that ate the canary. SJP notices this, and the wheels start turning in her mind. So, as you can imagine, she launches into a big speech about how this is the moment they've all been waiting for, and how they all hate her so much that they must be thrilled to see her humiliated like this. Craig T. Nelson is like "Nope!" but Bitchface's bitchface says "Kinda."

So SJP is finally the one in control of the Awkward Moment, but unfortunately she goes off the rails and starts talking about how she slept with Ben. Everybody is like "..." And Ben is like "WTF are you even talking about? We didn't Do It."

And of course this causes SJP to start weeping and asking why nobody loves her. She runs into the kitchen and takes the breakfast dishes out of the refrigerator. Diane Keaton and Bitchface start to come after her and of course they HILARIOUSLY open the door right in her face so she spills the food all over herself. They LOL in her face and she starts crying even harder.

In the living room, Shoe Polish is like "Hey Ben, whytf does my soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend think that she slept with you?" Ben starts to explain, but Shoe Polish is just like "Fuck this" and starts chasing him around the house.

While Craig T. Nelson tries to break up the boyfight, SJP is so hysterical that Bitchface does the decent thing and starts cleaning up the mess while Diane Keaton tries to comfort her. She weeps "I'm just as good as any of you!" and DK says "Of course you are. Better, probably!" SJP then asks "What's so great about you guys?" and DK says "Nothing! It's just, we're all we've got!" which Bitchface agrees with wholeheartedly. SJP is not placated by this and tells Bitchface that she is the worst. Bitchface is like "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??" and somehow manages to slip and fall into the giant puddle of uncooked breakfast. SJP and Diane Keaton enjoy a hearty and well-deserved LOL at her expense.

Ben and Shoe Polish continue running around and yelling, and Shoe Polish asks again why SJP thinks she slept with him. Ben is like "Because we were wasted" which for some reason does not please Shoe Polish. He escapes to the kitchen and takes a moment to leer at SJP, whose shirt is even more see-through now that she's soaked in raw egg or whatevertf was in that casserole dish, before Shoe Polish tackles him. They have a slap fight under the kitchen table, as grown men often do, before getting all tuckered out. Ben finally explains that nothing happened, SJP just passed out drunk in his bed and he slept on the floor. But then he's like "You don't even love her, whytf do you care?" And then the kitchen table collapses on top of them because this is a movie.

Mark Brendanawicz gets a first aid kit out of his amublance to treat the wounds from this epic battle. Claire Danes secretly books a bus ticket home, and as soon as she hangs up the phone the ring magically falls off her finger.

Upstairs, SJP and Shoe Polish have a grownup chat about how they're wrong for each other and they're both sorry and blah blah blah. Point is, they are splitsies.

The newly-single Shoe Polish doesn't waste any time trying to move in on Claire Danes, but unfortunately she has flown the coop. She left the ring with Esme Cullen's daughter, along with the message that she is gone, in case they didn't notice.

Bitchface goes out to the ambulance to see Mark Brendanawicz, and he gives her a present: a snowglobe. She is so impressed by this present that she makes out with him. She has really weird, over-the-top reactions to gifts.


Shoe Polish decides to chase after Claire Danes on foot, and Craig T. Nelson pulls up in his car and is like "Get in, dummy." They drive off to the bus station, where Claire Danes is waiting all alone. The bus pulls up, and Shoe Polish is like "Please don't go! Our time together has been so amazing!" Claire Danes is like "Dude you were boning my sister as of 24 hours ago, take a pill." She gets on the bus, and Shoe Polish is soooooo sad (as are we all). But then the bus stops and Claire Danes comes running back. She's still leaving, but she wants to know if he has plans for New Years. TRUE LOVE!!!!

Meanwhile, back at the house, SJP goes to Ben's room. They stroke each others' faces for a minute and then he tells her she smells like puke. So much true love. She changes into one of his t-shirts, and they lie in bed together. She starts singing "Joy to the World" and Ben is like "Whoa, 'repeat the sounding joy,' that's like, so deep, man!"

Downstairs, Diane Keaton is gazing wistfully out the window AGAIN. Geez louise, lady. Esme Cullen's husband FINALLY arrives and is like "Whotf is Bitchface making out with in that ambulance."

Shoe Polish walks home in the snow in his hoodie, for reasons that I, your humble recapper, cannot explain to you. Wheretf is Craig T. Nelson? Whatever. Life is too short.


Thad and Patrick arrive at the Stone estate. And they have an adorable baby! Esme Cullen greets them, and SHE has an adorable baby too! Thad asks if Shoe Polish and Claire Danes are there yet, and Esme says they'll be there for dinner. OMG, those two crazy kids really made it! I'm so glad!

Craig T. Nelson and Bitchface come in to greet them. Bitchface looks less disheveled, so we know she's totally gotten her life together. Ben calls from the other room that the tree is ready. And who is there with him but SJP! LOVE IS ALL AROUND YOU GUYS! Mark Brendanawicz is also there, so apparently many loves were born of that one super awkward and horrible Christmas. But guess who isn't there? Diane Keaton! RIP! So it looks like we're down one DK, and up two cute babies. I say it's a win.

The whole family stares at the tree and feels both happy and sad. It's so heartwarming. Shoe Polish and Claire Danes arrive, and everybody goes to greet them except Bitchface, who stares at the picture of pregnant Diane Keaton which is now hanging on the wall. Apparently she inherited the "gazing wistfully" gene. Mark Brendanawicz hugs her, and we fade to black.


Monday, August 27, 2012


I’m going to start off by letting you know the self-sacrifice this recap will require of me. Not because the movie is so bad (I mean, it is, but that’s just a fact of life at Recapscallion), but because any time I even think about this movie, I get the song “Obessed” by Mariah Carey in my head. But it’s my own “special” version of the song. Because when that song came out, I was working at the Target Starbucks and I had to walk by the DVD section of the store on my way to and from the break room every day, and for a long time they had a prominent display of a movie called “Robsessed,” all about people being obsessed with Robert Pattinson, I guess. So basically, what I’m trying to tell you is that I feel compelled to sing “Why are you Robsessed with me?” whenever I think of this movie. Out loud. Not Yentl-style thought-singing.

Also, this movie is terrible.


Or as I like to call it, “Bitches Be Crazy”

A happy pop song plays while Beyoncé and Idris Elba pull into the driveway of a lovely suburban house. There is a “For Sale” sign in the yard with a giant “SOLD” sticker slapped on the front, which Beyoncé promptly takes down. Except, she doesn’t actually take it down. She just removes the sign from its frame, leaving an ugly, empty metal frame stuck in her brand new lawn. Some homemaker she’s going to be!

Once inside, they leave their super cute son sleeping in his stroller DIRECTLY in front of the fireplace, where they are BURNING THE “FOR SALE” SIGN. Holy moly, this movie is already incredible.


Beyoncé and Idris wander around the empty house, looking very satisfied. And, fair enough, the house is enormous and beautiful. But maybe get your son away from the toxic fumes?

As they’re wandering around the house, they keep doing things that make no sense. Like, Beyoncé waves at Idris seductively as she walks into the next room, in a manner that suggests that she’s heading into a bedroom. But nope, it’s just the kitchen. And when she turns another corner, she sees her husband randomly striking a pose in a doorway.


I already identify with this couple so much! They are just like you and me!

Eventually they make their way up to the attic, which is surprisingly grody looking. There’s a wooden plank extending into what looks like a sea of filthy insulation. Beyoncé ventures onto it, but Idris pulls her back, and demonstrates how flimsy it is. Do you think this might become important later? I mean, we all know about Chekov’s Shoddy Attic Construction.

If you thought that the previous scene demonstrated that Idris has a good sense of home safety, you can forget about that, because he then gives Beyoncé a running piggyback ride down the narrow attic stairs. I have to say, it’s really impressive that we’re only three minutes into the movie and there hasn’t been a single line of dialogue yet, but they’ve already managed to illustrate precisely how ridic these main characters are.

Finally, they make it into the bedroom, where Beyoncé immediately declares that she’s going to take down the mirrors on the ceiling. Not because she has a problem with the concept of mirrors on the ceiling, but because they’re ugly. But if you ask me, aside from the creepy associations that automatically spring to mind with ceiling mirrors, I just know that if I had them I would wake up in the middle of the night and scare the shit out of myself. But whatevs.

Idris is all “Ohhhh, but Beyoncé, you look so beautiful in the mirrors, so they can’t be ugly! We have a perfect marriage!” He then kindly requests that she help him kill two birds with one BONE by testing out the mirrors and “christening” the house, right there on their plush carpet. Beyoncé protests for a while about how the movers are coming and Idris is going to be late to work. Eventually, she also remembers that they have a child sitting in front of a roaring fire downstairs, but Idris says “He’ll be all right. That boy will sleep through anything.”

After presumably making sweet, mirror-y love to his wife and (we can only hope) checking on his son, Idris heads off to work, leaving Beyoncé to deal with the movers by herself. There is a very long and unnecessary shot of movers putting down a glass-topped table directly underneath a chandelier while Beyoncé looks on with a concerned face.


So much foreshadowing! I would say sorry for the spoilers, but it’s like the movie is trying extra hard to spoil itself for you.

Idris arrives at the office and stands at the back of a crowded elevator. Literally everybody gets off of the elevator on the same floor except him and a foxy blonde (Ali Larter). After he awkwardly glances at her a couple of times, she asks if he works at Gage Bendix. He says yes, and she tells him she’s temping there. They make slightly flirty small talk about how she doesn’t look like a temp, and then she drops her shit all over the floor. He helps her pick it up, and she accidentally brushes hands with him. BUT WAS IT AN ACCIDENT???

They get off the elevator, and she says she’s looking for someone named Mr. Charles, and asks if Idris knows him. He tells her that Mr. Charles is an asshole who’s way too full of himself, but shhhh, it’s a secret!

When he reaches his office, his assistant asks how the move is going. Idris tells him that he escaped just when the movers arrived, and that if Beyoncé calls in mad, he should tell her that he’s in a meeting. The assistant is like “Dude! Beyoncé used to be your assistant! She’ll totes know that I’m lying because of her secret assistant lie-detecting telepathy!”

This guy, Patrick, is probably the worst character in the whole movie, which is really saying a lot considering he only has a handful of lines. He’s like a clueless straight white dude’s idea of what an enlightened portrayal of the “sassy gay” would be. Totally tone deaf. Our first glimpse of this comes when our foxy elevator seductress strolls up and discovers that Idris is the very Mr. Charles that he declared an asshole 45 seconds ago. What a card! She is super obvious about having the hots for him, so Patrick says, “Watch out, girl. He’s married.” She says that all the best ones are married, and he simpers “Or straight!”

Later, Idris is in a very important meeting with some stodgy middle-aged white dude and Jerry O’Connell. They have a poorly-scripted conversation about some German guy they’re doing business with. Now, I don’t claim to know shit about shit when it comes to financial thingies and the stock market, but something tells me that it’s a little weird to say “He doesn’t like the way the stock market’s gyrating.” But feel free to correct me. Anyhow, this scene is just here to show that Idris is SO good at his job. He apparently convinced the grumpy, anti-gyration German to do something or other that results in them getting a lot of money. Good job Idris. High fives all around.

While Jerry O’Connell is in the middle of declaring how much he loves working with Idris, the stuffy older guy spots the new temp walking down the hall outside and interrupts them to say in a really pervy tone, “Oooh, whose legs are those?” My immediate reaction to this line was to imagine a pair of severed legs laying on the ground, and to then burst out into hysterical laughter. But that might just be the wine. So Idris explains that the legs belong to a human woman, who is a new temp. To which Jerry O’Connell replies:


OMFG, we’re only eight minutes in and I already want to vom so hard. Stodgy McStodgerson goes on and on about how much he likes having a pretty girl around the office, and he’s so glad to have somebody new since Idris took their last eye candy off the market when he married Beyoncé.

At the end of the day, Jerry O’Connell tries to get Idris to go to a Lakers game with him, but Idris is like “This is my first day in my new house with my wife and child, so I should probably go home because I am a perfect husband.” He’s just about to get on the elevator when the office temp(tress) says bye to him, and calls him out on tricking her earlier. Her exact words are: “You punked me!” She tells him that far from being an asshole, he is beloved by everybody in the office, and he demurs a bit while still looking a little smug. She shakes his hand and says “I’m Lisa, by the way,” to which he replies, “Hey, Lisa By The Way.” This writing… I swear to God. The LOL to vom ratio is about even.

Idris leaves, and ominous music starts up as Lisa looks up some info about him on the company website.


GASP! Do you think she might become obsessed with him? Nah, probably not.

Back at home, Idris is revolted to discover that his son needs a diaper change. He calls out to Beyoncé to take care of it, but she isn’t having any of it and tells him it’s his turn. He says “No, I think it’s your turn!” Because, you know, the baby probably didn’t need a change at any point while he was at work. They only go like twice a day, right?

After performing the hugely emasculating act of changing his child’s diaper, Idris pops a bottle of champagne and brings it to Beyoncé, who is unpacking. I would be super pissed if I was her, because he spills that shit all over the floor. She is just charmed, though, and they drink the champagne out of teacups and snuggle because they have the perfect marriage.

The next day at work, Lisa is still there, but is now sitting at Patrick’s desk. Idris repeats the horrendous “Lisa By The Way” joke when he says hello to her, and then asks where Patrick is. Lisa explains that he has the flu, and she did some fancy footwork to get assigned to his desk. A slight “oh shit” look begins to glimmer in his eyes, but he brushes it off.

They sit down in his office, and she gives him a memo for the company Christmas party. She asks why spouses aren’t allowed at the party, and Idris explains that it’s Stodgy McStodgerson’s rule because how on earth can you kick back and have a good time at the party if your WIFE is there? Men gotta be men.

It’s time to get down to business, and Idris starts to tell Lisa about the most important thing he always does right away on Monday morning, which is to send flowers to Beyoncé. What a man! Lisa interrupts to say she already took care of it, and asks how long they’ve been married. He says three years, and Lisa is all “OMG Idris, she’s soooo lucky that after three years you still send her flowers. You must have a perfect marriage. Patrick told me you started dating when she was your assistant!” Idris senses that he is entering the danger zone, and changes the subject to boring things like lunch meetings with clients. He is so impressed with how efficient she is, and says that most temps are lazy and slow. She says she’s not the typical temp, and makes eyes at him for a while.

Later on, Beyoncé calls to say that their two-year-old son was flirting with the checkout girl at the grocery store, giving her the same look Idris gives when he sees a pretty girl. Then she starts talking about how she’s going to sign up for college classes and it’s so totally boring that he just starts peeking out his blinds to see if Lisa is there. She’s not at her desk, but she creepily pops up right in front of his window and catches him in the act of creeping.

At home, Beyoncé continues to bore Idris with her college talk. He’s like “That’s very interesting, but I was hoping that you liked being a mother enough that you would just stay home all the time and raise our son because that’s what ladies do.” She’s like “Um, nope. I like being a mom and all, but I have goals and shit.” Idris whines that he doesn’t want Kyle to be an only child and Beyoncé is just like “Whatever, we’ll get him a dog. Same diff.”

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t give you a screen cap of shirtless Idris Elba in this scene:


Anyway, they’re about to go to sleep when Beyoncé asks why he didn’t call her back earlier. She says she left a message for him at work, and he’s like “Oh, my new dumb temp told me that someone called but she got your name wrong. What a dummy!” Beyoncé is pissed because apparently they have an agreement that he can’t have any female assistants, because of how men can’t keep it in their pants and he has a bad history of hooking up with his employees. She asks if Lisa is pretty, and Idris says no. If he was wearing pants right now, they would SO be on fire. Beyoncé says that she wants Lisa fired immediately, no joke.

The next day Beyoncé comes to visit the office, and she is horrified to see that not only is Lisa not an uggo, but she also didn’t get fired just because she has jealousy issues! But of course, Lisa is a real weirdsmobile, so you can’t judge Beyoncé too harshly. For example, the baby is there, and Lisa says she can already tell he’s going to be a heartbreaker. Stop hitting on the baby! This isn’t Benjamin Button.


So Lisa just keeps going on and on about how Kyle is sooo handsome just like his dad, and Beyoncé gives a great “Are you fucking kidding me?” chuckle. She and Lisa have one of those classic catty conversations where they just slyly diss each other and try to stake their claim on Idris. Women.

When Lisa leaves, Beyoncé chews him out about how he lied about her being ugly. Idris is like “It doesn’t matter! I only have eyes for you!” Come on, man. We’ve all seen that episode of Buffy and it ends in murder-suicide.

Later on, Lisa snoops around Idris’s office and finds some CDs. She sees he has one by a band called “Crudo.” I can’t be bothered to figure out if they’re a real band or not, but I hope not. Could you imagine thinking that your band has finally gotten their big break, being featured in a movie starring Beyoncé, and then it turns out to be this nightmare?

Idris returns to work the next day to find that Patrick is back. He’s feeling well enough now to make a sassy comment about how there’s no way he’s going to miss the Christmas party. Then, SURPRISE! Lisa is still here for some reason! Somebody else called in sick, apparently, having caught the flu from Patrick. Real quote:


Idris says, “All right, girls. Behave yourselves out here.” VOM.COM!

Lisa and Patrick are BFFs now, and they chitchat about how much they love listening in on Idris’s phone calls and general office gossip. Lisa butters him up by saying he probably knows more about the office than anyone, and then asks if he wants to get together after work for a little “girl talk.” Normally I love comedically paraphrasing dialogue, but everything Patrick says just has to be repeated verbatim: “If you think you can pump me for information with a couple of cosmos… [long pause] YOU’RE RIGHT!”

Idris walks into the kitchen later to find Lisa sitting there crying. She’s all “Ohhhh I’m so sorry! I didn’t think anybody would be in this public space! I’m not crying! It’s just allergies!” He asks what she’s allergic to, and she says “Men.” He feeds her some stock lines about not having met the right guy yet, and she’s like “I’m so jealous of Beyoncé! She has everything! The perfect husband, perfect child, perfect marriage!” We get it, Obsessed! They have the perfect marriage! It has been established! But Idris says that nothing is perfect (probably thinking of how his wife would rather go to college than be a good mother). Anyway, he continues with the meaningless platitudes and, around the time he gets to “Any guy would be lucky to have you” territory, he makes the FATAL ERROR of saying “If I was single...”


Just when I had managed to forget that he exists, Jerry O’Connell waltzes into the kitchen with his shit-eating grin firmly in place. Lisa leaves, and he asks Idris what was going on. Idris tells him that her boyfriend just dumped her and Jerry O’Connell is like “Sweet booyah! She has a hot ass! I’m disgusting!” He tells Idris that though he would love to give Lisa the business, he thinks she would rather get some hot Mr. Charles action. He then says some completely ridiculous thing about single women seeing the workplace as a hunting ground, and Lisa has Idris in her crosshairs. If only he knew how literal this would end up being!

Idris goes back to his desk to find a note from Lisa, thanking him for comforting her. She included a CD, which he pops into his computer only to discover that it’s by his favorite band, Crudo! He gets an instant message from her immediately, and they have the most amazing conversation.


The night of the Christmas party, Idris asks Beyoncé which tie he should wear, but then blatantly goes against her advice. Trouble in paradise! She pointedly reminds him that last time he got drunk at an office party, Kyle was conceived, but he’s just like “Whatevs.”

He stops at some weirdly fancy bar/burger restaurant before the party, and of course Lisa, queen of creepers, is there. They eat burgers together, and she pressures him into having a martini even after he says he doesn’t want one. No means no! The bartender asks how dirty they want the martinis, and Lisa says to make them “filthy.” Ughhhhh. This movie!

They eventually make it to the party, and it looks like SO much fun. Everybody’s drinking, the ladies are dancing, and “Play That Funky Music” is playing in the background. It’s no Crudo, but it seems to be doing the trick. Lisa gazes longingly at Idris from across the room while he dances with some middle aged lady. Eventually she cuts in (I accidentally typed that as “Eventually she cuts him” at first, which is something that is equally likely to happen in this movie), and offers him a glass with a shot’s worth of tequila in it. He says no, but relents when she calls him a coward because apparently he never saw any after school specials about peer pressure growing up.

They keep dancing, and while spouting some bullshit about how she wasn’t sure she was going to come to the party, and asking if he’s glad she did, she manages to maneuver them under some mistletoe. She tries to convince him to kiss her, claiming that if they don’t kiss then people will think there’s something going on. But Idris is the perfect husband, so he says no anyway and starts to leave.

Of course Jerry O’Connell tries to stop him by pointing out that a female coworker who gave them lapdances last year is there. He then shouts to the woman that Idris has singles. This company obviously doesn’t have an HR department.

Idris makes a pit stop in the restroom on his way out, so obviously Lisa follows him in, carrying mistletoe that she rubs on his head “seductively.” She shoves him into a stall, and he says “stop” about fifty times. Some goon walks in singing “Jingle Bells” and giggling when he sees two pairs of feet under the stall door. While Lisa continues to try to force herself on Idris, this guy actually tries to peek into the stall and asks who’s there with this super creepy look on his face:


It just keeps getting worse from here. The guy bends down to try to look UNDER the stall door, and sees that Lisa has dropped to her knees. He chuckles pervily, assuming that somebody is getting serviced in there, and finally eventually leaves. Despite the fact that Idris is very obviously not into it, Lisa starts grinding up against him and pulling on his tie. He finally shoves her away and leaves. Patrick sees him going, and then sees Lisa emerge looking disheveled. He draws conclusions, and congratulates Lisa on living dangerously.

After drunk-driving home (the PERFECT man), Idris pays a visit to Kyle’s room and then climbs into bed with Beyoncé. She wakes up and asks how the party was, and he lies when she asks if anything interesting happened.

The next day at work, Lisa acts like nothing happened. She actually has normal businesslike conversations with him, and generally acts like a professional. So we know that we’re in for an explosion of crazy any minute now.

At the end of the day, Idris gets into his car, and Lisa immediately pops up out of nowhere and climbs into the passenger seat. She says she owes him an apology, but she has the crazy eyes. He tries to brush it off, saying that they were both drinking and should just forget about it. But Lisa says she can’t stop thinking about last night. He tells her that nothing happened, and she’s like “LOL yeah right. ‘Nothing happened.’” Crazy explosion in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….


He tells her to get out of the car, but she’s just like “What’s the matter, loverboy? Did I do something wrong? I don’t understand!” He finally drops the nice-guy stuff and basically tells her that she’s either stupid or crazy, but either way, she needs to leave. She’s like “OMG, you ARE an asshole!” and he drives away.

When he gets home, he decides he needs to tell Beyoncé everything, but before he can say anything, she tells him that she just found out that her sister’s husband is leaving her for a coworker. Wah wah. Idris assures her that he would never cheat on her, and declares her brother-in-law an asshole. Beyoncé asks what he was going to tell her, but he decides maybe it’s not such a great idea right now.

He does tell Jerry O’Connell about it at work the next day, and he’s just like “LOL that’s hilarious, man!” Idris says he’s going to report Lisa to HR, but Jerry O’Connell says that she’ll probably just say that he came onto her, and since he has gotten involved with at least one lady in the office in the past, they’ll probably believe her.

Idris ignores this advice and goes to HR anyway. I am not surprised to learn that the HR person is a dude. Anyway, he starts to tell him about it, but the guy says not to bother, because Lisa isn’t coming back. Phew!

Everything seems to be back to normal. Idris is still killing it at work, and he has a perfect Christmas with his perfect family.


Unfortunately, the crazy train has not stopped yet. When he and Beyoncé get home from a New Year’s party, his laptop beeps at him. When he opens his new email, a hilarious picture of Lisa starts popping up all over his screen. But like, it’s just a weird picture. She’s not even slightly naked! I expect better (worse) of her.


He only just manages to close all of the screens before Beyoncé comes up behind him.

At the office the next day, he emails Lisa telling her to leave him alone. Do not engage with the crazy! That’s like page one of the stalkee handbook. After a few seconds, she responds with a picture of a giant blue smiley face. There is then an amazing moment where some really menacing music plays in the background and it slowly zooms in on the smiley face, which then WINKS.

While we’re left to try to recover from this chilling moment, we go back to Idris’s house, where Beyoncé is helping him pack for a work retreat. They make some disparaging comments about how Jerry O’Connell is a boozehound, and then he kisses her goodbye.

The work retreat is super professional, as you would expect. Idris, Jerry O’Connell, Stodgy McStodgerson and some random other guy sit around drinking and talking about getting lapdances. They do a group poll of who wants to see some “hot oily breasts being jammed into their faces,” which, like, I’m not into chicks so maybe I’m wrong, but that sounds horrifying. Everybody raises their hand except for Idris, who opts out because he is married, and “doesn’t have to pay for it.” This beautiful show of fidelity is interrupted when a waitress gives him a dirty martini, courtesy of the lady at the bar.

And who is the lady at the bar? Lisa, of course! And she’s wearing a very sultry, backless red dress.

Idris gets up to call Beyoncé to say goodnight, and when he wanders away, Lisa emerges from the darkness. He hangs up, and she asks if he was talking to Beyoncé. She says she can tell, because of the pained look on his face. Hate to break it to you, sister, but I think he’s just reacting to the whiff of nutjob that follows you around.

She once again plays dumb, pretending to be surprised that he’s not happy to see her. She says that she quit so they could be together, because he told her he wouldn’t jeopardize his job for her. He spells it out for her once again, stating unequivocally that they will never be together, but she chooses not to understand him.


She’s just like “LOL, I get it. You’re just worried about what your coworkers would think.” Have you met them, Lisa? They would just high-five him. Anyway, when he looks back over at his table, she puts something in his drink and tells him to meet her later in her room.

We get a long shot of Idris and Jerry O’Connell walking back to their rooms, shot in “roofie cam” with blurred edges and echo-y voices. When Idris finally makes it to his room, he collapses on the bed and Lisa emerges from his bathroom and begins sexually assaulting him.


But don't worry! Idris will not remember it and it will never be mentioned again. For realsies.

The next morning, he stumbles into a work meeting with a massive roofie hangover. A man comes in halfway through the meeting and tells Idris that his wife is there. But of course, it’s actually Lisa, wanting to know if he wants to go to lunch.

He doesn’t remember what happened last night, on account of the date rape drugs, and Lisa is like “Last night was perfect! Don’t cause a scene!” when he tells her to go away.

He then decides that the best course of action would be to drag her into the meeting and force her to tell everybody about her crazy shenanigans. Good plan? She goes on a rant about how he knew what he was getting into from the start, and a bunch of nutty mumbo jumbo, and then heads toward the conference room. He suddenly changes his mind, apparently realizing that it was the worst idea ever, and pulls her back. He tells her for the millionth time that nothing is going on between them, and goes back in.

That night, he heads back to his room, and at this point I would have been more surprised if Lisa WASN’T lying in his bed with an empty pill bottle in her hand. The paramedics come and wheel her out of there, past an aghast Jerry O’Connell and Stodgy McStodgerson.

Later on, Jerry O’Connell is woken up by a call from Beyoncé, wondering why Idris hasn’t called her. He tells her that there was an incident, and Beyoncé is like “Huh? What?” He says that Idris will need to tell her about it himself. So she rushes to meet him at the hospital. Before he can explain things to her, a police detective arrives and has some questions for Idris.

He tells her about how Lisa came on to him at the Christmas party and flashed him in the parking garage and crashed the company retreat, and Ms. Detective is like “And she just imagined that you had an affair? And magically ended up trying to kill herself while naked in your bed?” Beyoncé is like “Um… WHAT?” Idris roundly denies any wrongdoing, but Ms. Detective totally doesn’t believe him. It doesn’t help that when Lisa woke up after getting her stomach pumped, she listed Idris as her emergency contact.

Beyoncé and Idris have a very awkward car ride home. When they get back, she does some shouting and dish throwing about how she doesn’t know who he is anymore, etc. Idris insists that Lisa is sick and nothing happened, but she doesn’t believe him, and kicks him out of the house. He asks where he should go, and she says “To hell. But until then, I’d suggest maybe the Four Seasons.” Good one, B!

Back at the hospital, Ms. Detective comes to ask Lisa some questions. But all Lisa wants to do is ask if Idris is ok and when can she see him? Ms. Detective is like “Uh, hate to break it to you, but he doesn’t want to see you.” Lisa is so confused, because if Idris doesn’t want to see her, why did he send this beautiful floral arrangement sitting at the edge of her bed? The note on the flowers totally sounds like Idris.


This sets off an alarm bell in Ms. Detective’s head, and she asks Lisa to tell her what happened at the hotel. Lisa’s story is that Idris asked her to meet him at the hotel and they had some grownup fun. And the next day he told her that Beyoncé refused to get a divorce, so they couldn’t be together anymore. And when you can’t be with the perfect man, all you can do is take a bunch of pills, because life isn’t worth living, duh-doy! But she realizes now that the only reason Idris tried to break it off with her was because he was thinking of the welfare of his son.

Ms. Detective asks Lisa if she really believes that Idris loves her, and she spews some nonsense about how they are in true love, and she feels bad for Beyoncé and hopes she doesn’t do anything stupid.

Meanwhile, Idris is getting chewed out by Stodgy McStodgerson, who says that any “whiff of impropriety” could damage the company. Um, ok, Mr. I Want Hot Oily Breasts In My Face. Idris insists that he didn’t do anything, and that he was the one who was sexually harassed. Stodgers goes all bro code on him, saying that they’ll stand behind him unless evidence comes out proving that he’s guilty. But unfortunately, he’s going to need Idris to take some time off, and his big important German client is going to be given to Jerry O’Connell. Idris is devastated.

Ms. Detective swings by the office to ask Idris about the flowers, and to show him Lisa’s diary, which is apparently all about their affair and how he promised to divorce Beyoncé etc etc. She says that she got the impression from the diary that Idris is “quite the accomplished lover.” Idris is just like “I’ve had enough white women hitting on me for one movie. And btw, the diary is bullshit.” Ms. Detective intimates that she doesn’t totally believe what Lisa wrote either. He wants to file a restraining order against her, but she tells him it’s not necessary because Lisa’s sister took her back to San Francisco.

So it seems that the nightmare is over for Idris, but Beyoncé hasn’t forgiven him yet. So he continues living at a hotel, and has playdates with Kyle every once in a while. Apparently Beyoncé hired a nanny to pick up the slack, and she is played by the girl who played Dean’s obnoxious little sister, Clara, on Gilmore Girls.


There’s a montage suggesting that Beyoncé and Idris spend a lot of time wistfully looking out windows and reminiscing about their perfect marriage, so it’s no big surprise that Idris eventually puts his foot down and insists that she go to dinner with him on his birthday.

At dinner, he tells her that he misses her and he loves her and he’ll do whatever she wants if she’ll give him another chance. Blah blah blah.

Back at the house, Nanny Clara is simultaneously watching TV and listening to her iPod. Which, you know… I wish this was the most absurd thing that happens in this movie. But anyway, the doorbell rings and OH MY GOD! It’s Lisa! I thought she was in San Francisco and the rest of this movie was going to be all about Idris and Beyoncé becoming the perfect couple again :(

Lisa introduces herself as Beyoncé’s friend Kate, just stopping in with a gift for Kyle. Nanny Clara is like “Um, what? She’s not here. No, you can’t go upstairs and give that present to Kyle. WTF is your deal?” Lisa is all “Oh, why don’t I call Beyoncé so you know it’s ok?” But then she just has a fake conversation and Nanny Clara doesn’t even bother to ask to talk to Beyoncé herself.


While Idris and Beyoncé talk about how they miss each other at the restaurant, Lisa creepily takes Kyle out of his crib and sits with him in the dark. Kyle is just like “Whatevs.”

Eventually, Idris wears Beyoncé down by saying he’ll never lie to her again, and she gives him his birthday present: a key to the house. Thank god! I almost didn’t believe in love anymore!

Lisa finally leaves the house, and Nanny Clara doesn’t even look up from her phone to show her out. So it’s no surprise that when the happy couple get home, Kyle is gone. Clara is sooooo gonna be fired.

Idris runs around the backyard calling out for Kyle, like maybe he’s just hiding in the bushes. He then gets in the car, mumbling about how Lisa couldn’t have gotten far, but when he looks in the backseat he sees Kyle sitting there with a big red lipstick mark on his forehead. www.creepy.com

They take him to the hospital just in case, because with Lisa you really never know, and Ms. Detective is there. She says “LOL, my bad. Guess she’s not in San Francisco! I promise I’ll find her.” Beyoncé is just like “Yeah, well, you’d better, because if you don’t do something about her, I will!” Ohhh, snap.

When they get back to the house, they find that Lisa has basically destroyed their bedroom. She also left a family picture lying on the bed, with Beyoncé’s face cut out! Guess she didn’t have time to put her own face in there, so I’ll help her out.


In the morning, they have a new security system installed, but just for good measure Beyoncé leaves Lisa a very angry voicemail that ends in “You think you’re crazy? I’ll show you crazy. Just try me, bitch!” For a minute, I thought she was quoting “Womanizer” by Britney Spears, but alas.

I’d like to point out that at this point in the movie, my DVD player actually stopped working, as though it couldn’t bear to force me to watch the rest. This is also the part where I admit that I actually own this movie on DVD. It is, in fact, the only movie I’ve ever bought with the explicit intention of recapping it. It took me a long time to finally get around to it, though, because it’s so bad, but after the one-two punch of The Holiday and Leap Year, nothing really scares me anymore.

Even with the new security system, Idris is having trouble sleeping and has to constantly check on Kyle and Beyoncé during the night. He is scared when he sees a car pull up in front of the house, but it’s just a police car. But he can sense that some bad shit is going to go down before long.

One morning, Idris is headed off to work. He and Beyoncé discuss their travel plans. Kyle is at her sister’s house, and she’ll be going there this afternoon with Idris following the next morning.

At the office, our old friend Patrick gets a call from Lisa. Apparently he was unfazed by all of the shit that went down between her and Idris, because he’s basically just like “Hey girl! So glad to hear from you! I shouldn’t really be talking to you, but whatevs!” She tells him that Idris and Beyoncé are getting divorced, and Patrick is a moron and is like “If they were getting divorced, why would they be going to San Diego for her parents’ anniversary party? Let me give you their entire itinerary!” He’s sooo bummed when she immediately hangs up.


Beyoncé is preparing to leave for the party and forgets to set the house alarm. Lisa was apparently waiting in the bushes because she immediately breaks in. Beyoncé realizes her mistake after two minutes of driving and turns back. Meanwhile, Lisa is dancing around the bedroom in slow motion holding a bottle of champagne and a couple of glasses, presumably setting up a romantic surprise for Idris when he gets home since she thinks Beyoncé is gone. She lays rose petals on the bed and puts on one of Idris’s shirts.

When Beyoncé gets back, she hears Lisa popping the champagne bottle and goes to check it out. She finds Lisa lying in their bed and is like “Didn’t you get my message?” Lisa is just like “I’m sooo sorry you had to find out about me and Idris this way. It must have sucked seeing him fall out of love with you!”

I have to say one of this movie’s main weaknesses (let’s get real, the whole movie is a weakness, but whatever) is that it’s really not clear if Lisa is just a diabolical bitch or if she’s actually completely deluded. Because most of the time she seems perfectly lucid, but I think we’re supposed to believe that she actually believes her own bullshit? And this results in a huge percentage of the movie being taken up by Lisa having the same infuriating conversations with people over and over (“Idris and I are in love!” “No you’re not!” “Yes we are!” “No you aren’t!” “Yes we are, what are you, stupid?”).

So. It’s finally come to the final confrontation. Beyoncé says she’s going to call the cops, and Lisa is like “Let’s just talk about it!” But when she grabs Beyoncé’s arm, she gets thrown to the ground. And now it’s a full-on girlfight. Lisa comes at Beyoncé with a lamp, and Beyoncé tries to hide in the bathroom. Idris tries to call the house and Lisa answers for some stupid reason. Beyoncé headbutts her, takes the phone and says “I’ll call you back.” She’s ready to take care of business.

She grabs Lisa by the leg and drags her down the hallway saying “I’m going to wipe the floor with your skinny ass.” Then Lisa regains the upperhand and tries to simultaneously choke Beyoncé and throw her over the railing. Then they both fall down the stairs together, and we get some gratuitous Ali Larter ass shots (she’s ONLY wearing Idris’s oversized t-shirt).

Lisa runs away and Beyoncé can’t find her. She eventually sees that the door to the attic is open, and follows her up. Lisa sneaks up behind her and starts whacking her with a wooden plank. They shove each other around for a while, until Beyoncé ends up on that rickety floorboard that Idris saved her from at the beginning of the movie. Lisa is still swinging the wooden plank at her, so she backs up to stand on some thin beams sticking out into the insulation ocean. She has great balance, considering that she’s wearing really high-heeled boots. She eggs Lisa on, trying to get her to come closer, before finally flipping her over her head so she falls through the floor.

Lisa manages to hang on to the edges of the hole, and Beyoncé offers her a hand to pull her back up because at the end of the day, she’s just not all that murder-y. But when Lisa tries to pull Beyoncé down with her, she’s like “Fuck this shit” and lets her go. She falls into the chandelier, which starts to come loose.


Lisa is knocked off and falls onto the glass-topped table, but she’s still kicking, and still has the crazy murder eyes. Luckily for Beyoncé, the chandelier falls on top of her and she dies.

Just as Ms. Detective arrives at the house, having been called by Idris, Beyoncé comes staggering out onto the lawn. She asks what happened, and Beyoncé just says “I think you know what happened.” Apparently this is an acceptable official statement to the police, because Ms. Detective just heads into the house.

Idris pulls up shortly after, and some romantic music starts up while they hug, so relieved that they can finally resume their perfect life, with only a little bit of crazy blood on their hands.