The movie was written and directed by Ed Burns, who also made The Brothers McMullen in 1995, about three Irish Catholic siblings on Long Island. I saw that one, too, but don't remember caring for it as much. In some ways, I thought The Fitzgerald Family Christmas was an improvement on it.
Burns, 44, is the son of Irish immigrants who grew up on Long Island. He's been quoted as saying:
I feel Irish-Americans are the forgotten minority group. Nobody else is making films about them. You have Woody Allen and Paul Mazursky making films about Jewish-Americans, you have Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola making films about Italian-Americans and you have Spike Lee and John Singleton making films about African-Americans. Who is making films about Irish-Americans?
My family was from Chicago, not New York, and I grew up in the suburbs, not in a neighborhood like Queens. (We were also a generation, or two, more removed from the Old Sod.) So I didn't identify with the Fitzgeralds that closely. (We also had our own familial dysfunctions, thank you.)
But I really liked it; it reminded me a little of the flicks Woody Allen used to make. (You know, the good ones.) I also thought most of the scenes and dialogue were pretty darn realistic. Not perfect; but close.
Give it a shot; I think you'll like it.