It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States. That means that we all get together, eat a bunch of food, watch some football, maybe pop in a movie or two, and then wake up at 2 AM to go shopping on Black Friday. You know, all things that the Founding Fathers of this country envisioned just over 200 years ago.
There really aren’t many movies that celebrate Thanksgiving. So, I’ve decided to put together a list of movies that aren’t so much about Thanksgiving, but take place during it.
“Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” – This is one of those movies that I normally can’t stand. I can only take it every so often, but since it’s all about Neal (Steve Marting) trying to get home to his family for Thanksgiving, now is as good a time as any to watch it. Of course, he’s denied at every turn by the unbelievably annoying Del (John Candy). Even though I’m annoyed by most of Del’s antics, the movie does have a warm and fuzzy ending that almost makes up for all the nails down chalkboard moments preceding it. Almost.
“Scent of a Woman” – This is not exactly the warm and sunny movie that the whole family can enjoy, but it does have one of the greatest Thanksgiving dinner scenes ever. When you crazed blind Uncle Frank (Al Pacino) starts giving you sexual marital advice at the dinner table, you know you’re in for a wheels off dinner. It makes you wonder what’s for dessert. Much like the first movie here, the movie almost uncharacteristically goes all hearts and flowers in the last twenty minutes. I guess one trip to New York with a high school kid was all the grumpy blind guy needed to cheer up.
“Hannah and Her Sisters” – Ah yes. Nothing says wholesome family entertainment like Woody Allen. This movie is actually bookended by Thanksgiving dinners. This should be watched every year just for the greatness of Michael Caine and Dianne Wiest, who seems to save her best work for Woody’s movies. Come to think of it, Woody really stretches out his acting in this one by playing a hypochondria-tic producer. That’s sarcasm.
“The Ice Storm” – This movie is much more uncomfortable than “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”, but not in the annoying way. This one is uncomfortable in a spouse-swapping kinda way. It takes place around the holiday season and involves extra-marital affairs, alcoholism, and teenage kids showing each other their dirty parts. So yeah, it’s fun for the whole family. Did I mention that a kid also gets electrocuted? No. Yeah. That happens too.
“The House of Yes” – Normally, I’m not a Parker Posey fan. However, she should have won awards for this piece of genius. It’s one of the most twisted movies ever…but again, not really celebrating Thanksgiving. All of the events like reenacting JFK’s assassination and incestuous relations are just happening on Thanksgiving.
“Miracle on 34th Street” – I keep seeing this one over and over about Thanksgiving. Isn’t it a Christmas movie? Does that sound like I’ve never seen this movie? It should. I haven’t. Probably never will. Moving on.
“Last of The Mohicans” – So this has nothing to do with Thanksgiving. But, if you’re going to put a list together like this, you should at least have one movie that honors Native Americans right? You should watch this immediately after your Turkey Day meal as the final twenty minutes alone should keep you from passing out.
“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” – Not really a movie. I know this. But come on, can this be left off a list such as this? It’s easily the greatest Thanksgiving meal of all times. You’ve got your buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, jelly beans, and a sundae. Do you need anything else? Not really, but I guess that’s what happens when you allow a dog to cook your meal.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Gobble gobble.