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Thanksgiving Movies: Love and Chaos and Turkey

By Lori Perkins

So every year, after the guests leave, my son and I turn to each other and ask, “Do you want to watch a Thanksgiving movie?” and every year we settle for Planes, Trains and Automobiles (which is from 1987) because we can’t find anything else that is the right combo of holiday and fun.


So, this year, I did a little prep work for all of us.


I went through lists and lists of Thanksgiving movies and threw out the perennial clunkers IMHO – Alice’s Restaurant, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Pocahontas.


Some recent favorites are Pieces of April, starring Katie Holmes, as a young woman who decides to put on a disastrous Thanksgiving feast for her family and a new boyfriend; The Blind Side, which is a great movie you can watch over and over again and has an important Thanksgiving dinner as a pivotal scene; and Addams Family Values, which takes place over Thanksgiving.


If you want something a little more angsty, there’s The Ice Storm, which features a very dysfunctional family over the holiday in the 70’s; Hannah and Her Sisters, one of Woody Allen’s family train wrecks; Home for the Holidays with Holly Hunter, and The Myth of Fingerprints, both new entrees into the dysfunctional family holiday marathon. Krisha is a new film in this family love and chaos category that has gotten extremely good reviews.


The New World features the original Thanksgiving dinner, and a very hot Colin Farrell as John Smith in a different take on the Pocahontas story.


For something completely different, you might want to watch Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino’s Oscar performance, which is also set over the Thanksgiving weekend. Or you can try Thankskilling, featuring a possessed turkey and five college students – not sure if it’s a horror movie or a comedy, or both.


If you feel like some political family comedy (that’s a mouthful), try The Oath, starring Tiffany Haddish. There’s also the just release Friendsgiving feautring a dysfunctional group of friends.