June 10, 2006
Here's a handy tip for the day: Do NOT rent The Family Stone for your mother to watch if she has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. My parents went to Tampa today to meet with the surgeon who is going to perform a lumpectomy for my mother. The trip is about 2 hours each way, and they were there to get some heavy duty news, so needless to say, they were tired when they got back. I suggested that we just hunker down and watch a movie at home that evening, and my mom liked that idea, asking me to choose something funny and mindless.
Well, I don't know if you've seen any ads for The Family Stone, but it's touted as a lighthearted romp wherein a son brings home his uptight girlfriend for the holidays and hilarity ensues. So I got that for us to watch. Bad idea. Nowhere in the ads I saw, and I saw many, did it say that Diane Keaton's character is suffering from breast cancer. But she is. They show the scar from her first surgery, and everybody spends time crying at various points because they find out she's had a relapse. And then at the end SHE FREAKING DIES FROM BREAST CANCER.
So as the movie is going on, I am looking over at my mother periodically to gauge her reaction and apologize profusely. Eventually she falls asleep, but not before she figures out what's going on. So she misses the worst of it, but then the next morning, she says, "So how did that movie end, anyway?"
I say, "Do you really want to know?"
She says, "Yeah."
I say, "The uptight girl ends up with the laid back brother and her sister ends up with the first brother. And the mother dies of breast cancer."
My mother laughed her ass off. I think it was a genuine laugh, and she did say that my blunder was funnier than some comedy would likely have been.
Regardless, I am no longer allowed to choose the movie.