- Deseret News - Friday, October 17, 2014

The adaptation of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” which hit theaters earlier this month, will not likely be remembered as a family classic based on reviews that called it fine but forgettable.

But here are a few past films that offered more memorable, often comedic, moments from on-screen families that capture what it means to be a family in all of its peculiar glory.

1. The McCallister family of “Home Alone”

Director John Hughes captures the perils of being the youngest in a family as Kevin looks to his less-than-helpful siblings for guidance. “I don’t know how to pack a suitcase. I’ve never done this once in my whole life,” he tells his sister, only to hear her attempt at consolation, “Listen, Kevin, what are you so worried about? You know Mom’s gonna pack your stuff, anyway. You’re what the French call ‘les incompetents.’”

It’s not just a family favorite in the United States, “Home Alone is basically a national treasure in Poland. After the fall of communism, ‘Home Alone’ became one of the first western films shown in the country and it has aired on national TV every year since 1990,” UPROXX reports.

2. The Stone family of “The Family Stone”

Marrying into a family can be as ruthless as finding one’s way through a corporate merger. Tired of trying to prove herself to her fiance’s family, Meredith (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) confronted her future sister-in-law, “I don’t care whether you like me or not!”

“Of course you do,” was the all-too true response.

Practical jokes abound in family relationships, even on-set. IMDb shares that “Luke Wilson chipped a tooth while filming this movie and asked Diane Keaton to recommend a dentist. Keaton decided to play a joke on him and, when he called the number she had given him, it was actually the number to a psychologist.”

3. The Banks family of “Father of the Bride”

Turns out trying to leave a family can be just as difficult as trying to coming into one. A daughter going to college or a son moving across the country — these transitions can be hard on the entire family. Those who struggle with letting go will resonate with Steve Martin’s character George Banks when he remarks on the day of his daughter’s wedding, “This was the moment I’d been dreading for the past six months. Well, actually for the past 22 years.”

HGTV talked with the owners of the classic house featured in “Father of the Bride” and found out fans of the movie continue to drop by daily for photo ops. “The house has been the setting for real-life proposals, too.”

4. The Maclean family of “A River Runs Through It”

While not a comedy, Robert Redford’s adaptation of Norman Maclean’s novel explores how familiarity can breed conflict within familial relationships.

For example, does your family seem to know what you need more than you do? While this can be beneficial, sometimes it can just be aggravating.

In “A River Runs Through It,” Norman (played by Craig Sheffer) was sitting down to eat a sandwich when his brother Paul (played by Brad Pitt) entered. “You know what you need on that? Ham, cheese, sardines” he suggested, pulling Norman’s sandwich away and adding cheese and sardines to it. That was all it took for a yelling match and a fist-fight to break-out.

Before auditioning for the role of the fly-fishing son of a Presbyterian minister, Melissa Ethridge taught Pitt how to fly fish in her Hollywood swimming pool, US Weekly reports.

5. The Portokalos family of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”

Have you had those conversations with your aunt where she tells you more than you wanted to hear? Did your future in-laws ever have one of those conversations with your aunt?

Toula’s future in-laws did in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Upon them, Toula’s aunt confided:

“All my life, I had a lump at the back of my neck, right here. It started to grow. So I go to the doctor, and he did the…”bobopsy.” Inside the lump he found teeth and a spinal cord. Yes. Inside the lump was my twin.”

If one thing can bring family together, it’s food. IMDb shares that “paying for catering during the film proved not to be a problem. Wherever the film was being shot, whenever local Greek restaurants learned about it, they sent over lots of free food.”


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