A woman meets her future in-laws and discovers they don't much care for her in this comedy from writer and director Thomas Bezucha. Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) is a successful young businessman who is dating Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker), and has asked her to spend Christmas with his family, with plans to ask his mother, Sybil (Diane Keaton), for the titular family wedding band and propose to Meredith on Christmas Day. Meredith is more than a bit nervous about meeting Everett's folks, and things only get worse when they arrive -- Meredith is by her nature straight-laced and a bit uptight around strangers, while Sybil and family patriarch Kelly (Craig T. Nelson) are free-thinkers who, except for Everett, have raised a family of cheerfully rebellious children, most notably younger daughter Amy (Rachel McAdams), older brother Ben (Luke Wilson), and adopted sibling Thad (Tyrone Giordano), who is both deaf and gay. Meredith and the Stone family do not get along well at first, especially Sybil, who is appalled at the prospect of Everett giving Meredith the family's heirloom wedding ring; in dire need of moral support, Meredith asks her younger sister, Julie (Claire Danes), to join her for Christmas with the Stones. However, the plan runs into a snag when Everett's head is turned by pretty Julie, and Meredith finds herself on the receiving end of attention from slobby Ben.
by Mark Deming synopsis