Welcome back! Thanksgiving. I know it’s a foreign term these days. Lots of us jump ahead to Christmas. Why? I don’t know, but I bet it is psychological.
Thanksgiving brings up lots of memories and feelings. Being my weird random pop culture self, I think about the movies I watched this time of year. Sure, I think about turkey, family and online shopping (like the normal American) but those Thanksgiving movies are the strongest memories for me.
I’m sure everyone has their favorite type of movies they like to watch this time of year. I have three that I always watch and for once I am not going to be talking about Hallmark movies! I assume everyone is giving me a high five right now. Nope? I don’t care!
Here is a list of my top three required Thanksgiving movies!
Home for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays is one of those movies that no one talks about anymore. It rarely plays on television but when it does a strong wave of nostalgia hits me. What is very weird is I never saw this film till I was in high school. It makes no sense that I would get a nostalgic feeling while watching this movie.
That is the point of the movie, at least to me. The movie is about adult children coming home for the holidays. Each one is fulfilling a certain trope, but all disappointed in their lives…to a point. Even though all the characters are going through a lot of dramas the film still has a warm feeling. Almost like you, yourself had been to this Thanksgiving before or at least experienced a Thanksgiving like this as a child.
I like to watch this movie see a family fall apart just to come back together. I also watch it because no matter how bad Thanksgiving may go, it won’t be as bad as this families.
With Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning (this movie is chock full of stars) it is worth the watch to feel that warm family drama and realize your family isn’t so bad.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a newer entry for me. I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with all things John Hughes (that is an upcoming blog post). Let me just say that John Hughes have influenced me a lot as a writer. He is not the only writer that has influenced me but his work came into my life at a very exciting time.
This movie is one of my favorites of his because I love buddy comedies. Especially hate to love buddy comedies. It is opposites attract as two guys (John Candy and Steve Martin) get stuck in various weird positions as they try to find their way home for Thanksgiving. I think I love this one so much because Steve Martin and John Candy have a great chemistry between them. They play off each other so well. I sometimes wonder what else those two could have done. Maybe without them, Chris Farley and David Spade would have had a harder time breaking into that ‘buddy comedy’ type of film (controversial I know, but many of their movies remind me of this one). I think Del (John Candy) is what truly makes the film for me. His ability to constantly be positive and try his hardest for his new friend (even when Neal (Steve Martin) is an ass) makes me root for him.
This movie is funny and reminds you that the holidays make everyone go nuts. Sometimes you need to relax and realize that life never goes to plan.
Son in Law
Son in Law is a Pauly Shore movie. Wait! Come back! Let me explain! Out of all the Pauly Shore movies, this one is my favorite, and it just happens to be set during Thanksgiving. A lot of people roll their eyes at how dull the film is. It is full of obvious tropes, and you can tell where the movie is going, but it still works for me. I hate to tell people this, but sometimes you just need a light, funny and sweet movie. Not everything needs to be dramatic.
This movie covers a common romance trope. Rebecca (Carla Gugino) from a small town in South Dakota goes to college in California. She does not fit in right away but with the help from her new best friend Crawl (Pauly Shore) she assimilates. Meanwhile, her boyfriend back home is waiting for her to come back for Thanksgiving to propose. Since Rebecca isn’t ready, she brings along Crawl to play her fake fiancé. Family bonding and hilarity ensues.
I love to watch this at Thanksgiving (all the time actually) because it is like visiting old friends. I get invested in these characters. You want the whole family (including Crawl) to be happy. The characters have a lot more going on under the surface that makes you love them.
The cast has great chemistry, and it does not slut shame the girl that is meant to be an irritant. In fact, the movie recognizes that she isn’t the problem, and she ends up becoming friends with the family. Sorry, went off on a tangent. It does not often happen in movies, so I like to point it out when it does. This movie is fun for everyone and can always get a good laugh out of me.
All three films are quite different but provide the same amount of comfort during the holiday season. There are other movies (Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving comes to mind), but those are the ones that make me feel warm, safe and ready for the Thanksgiving season.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving movies? Let me know below!
Until then, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!