If you believed the commercials, The Family Stone looked like the latest in the increasingly crowded (and diluted) line of cynical, ironic holiday films that act like the skewering of Christmas is still a novel film idea of can't miss proportions. But if there's any irony here, it's that Fox took whatever smarminess its film had, packed it into a 60-second commercial, and baited people into seeing what turns out to be a much more earnest film than its ads suggest.

That's not to say Stone is some humorless, honey-saturated puff piece: The wholesome card gets played to almost implausible effect at times, but there's almost always a funny, pointedly honest jab or two lying in wait. And because you actually care about these people – unlike, say, the Kranks – those jabs almost always hit their mark.

It's one of the better family comedies to surface last year. Sarah Jessica Parker, Craig T. Nelson, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson and Claire Danes, among others, star.

Extras: Parker/Mulroney commentary, crew commentary, deleted scenes (with commentary), three behind-the-scenes features, gag reel, roundtable Q&A, family recipe.

Grade: A-