Several Christmases ago, I went with a couple of friends to see The Family Stone soon after it hit theaters. The movie had gotten mixed reviews, but we liked it. Would I have enjoyed it as much if it hadn’t taken place in this beautiful old house, however? Probably not!
The Family Stone is about a family gathering at Christmas. There are five grown children, and Everett (Dermot Mulroney) is bringing his girlfriend Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) home to meet everybody for the first time. The casual, fun-loving, close-knit family takes an immediate dislike to uptight Meredith, who wouldn’t know a sense of humor if it knocked her across her tightly-coiffed head.
Hilarity, family bonding, and an unexpected romance between Meredith and Everett’s brother Ben ensue. Oh, and someone knows this is her last Christmas and dies before the end. I dare you not to mist up a little bit.
The set designer says she carefully chose every photo for the fridge to make it look like a real family lived there.
When Diane Keaton saw the interior of the house for the first time, she says she thought it was “disgusting.” She couldn’t stand all the clutter “and all of the stuff everywhere.” But she admitted that it suited the family’s personality: “For them it was perfect.” The set designers were careful about every little detail, down to the magnets on the fridge.
Sybil has a desk in the kitchen. It’s truly her domain:
The Dining Room:
Everett’s room, which is much neater and cleaner than the others in the house and matches his buttoned-up personality.
The Parents’ Bedroom:
Amy’s Attic Bedroom:
The Family Room:
A reader tells me, “The real house they used for the exteriors is in Riverside, CT (postal district in Greenwich) on Riverside Ave at Club Rd on the southwest corner of the intersection. And the snow was real. They didn’t need the snow machines the crew had brought in!” Thanks, Kathy!
Visit my Houses Onscreen page to see more, including another Diane Keaton movie…