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Movies show how not to meet family

first_imgdramatic entrance. Scenario: In 2003’s “Pieces of April,” April Burns’ (Katie Holmes) boyfriend Bobby (Derek Luke) meets her family for the first time by crashing onto the hood of their car on Thanksgiving with a bloody nose and a swollen eye. He’d just been in a fight. Naturally, her parents sped away. Kaiser’s take: Be on time and avoid spontaneous or risky behavior before the folks arrive, especially if you’re hosting or greeting them. “Just focus on being in the moment with these new people. Blend in.” Lesson 3: Keep public displays of affection to a minimum. Scenario: In “This Christmas,” Melanie Whitfield (Lauren London) brings home boyfriend Devean Brooks (Keith Robinson) and into the kitchen closet for a make-out session. Of course, they get caught. Fortunately, the Whitfields are too immersed in their own drama to care. Kaiser’s take: Keep your hands off each other, and don’t even think about sneaking into his bedroom at night. “If the parents ask you to sleep in separate bedrooms, do it. It’s about respecting the house rules, and that has a long-term effect on the relationship. People read a lot into certain behaviors. And if you break the house rules, they’ll remember it.” Lesson 4: Don’t act like a know-it-all. Scenario: In “The Family Stone,” a clueless Meredith Morton starts a Christmas dinner discussion about nature versus nurture and how life is harder for gay children. She does this in the presence of the Stones’ well-adjusted gay son, Thad (Tyrone Giordano). Stuffy and self-righteous, she acts like she’s the first person to consider this theory. Who is she, Darwin? Kaiser’s take: Under no circumstances should you bring up subjects like this, religion or politics. “Always err on the side of caution if you think it will cause drama at the table or controversy with the family.” Lesson 5: If you’re not Rachael Ray, stay out of the kitchen. Scenario: Back to “The Family Stone,” where Meredith (Parker) takes over Sybil Stone’s (Diane Keaton) kitchen to make strata, a breakfast tradition in her family. She doesn’t ask permission or check for food allergies or aversions. Kaiser’s take: “I felt that was very disrespectful. She was trying to impress, but when you’re in somebody else’s home, you have to honor it. Try saying, `I’d love to contribute to tomorrow’s breakfast. Can I use the kitchen to make a dish from my family?”‘ [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Sure, it’s an honor to join his or her family for some turkey and seasonal bonding. But there’s a funny feeling in your gut, something akin to nausea. After all, pop culture is riddled with meet-the-parents scenarios gone horribly wrong. From “Pieces of April” to “The Family Stone,” movies have mostly taught us what not to do when meeting the parents for the first time. Well, don’t choke. We asked dating and relationship coach Jeannine Kaiser to run through filmdom’s most nightmarish holiday relationship scenarios, provide the better approach, and the lessons learned. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ Lesson 1: The world does not revolve around you. Scenario: In 2005’s “The Family Stone,” Meredith Morton (Sarah Jessica Parker) never stops talking on Christmas Eve. From the car ride to a local pizzeria and back, she yaps on about herself and how she and Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) met. Kaiser’s take: “She was only interested in them knowing about her, but you should get to know the person’s family. And that requires you asking them questions. All the muck comes up during the holidays, every family’s dysfunction. If you’re constantly talking, then you’ll miss big things.” Lesson 2: Avoid a last_img

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