To many, food is definitely one of the most important parts of Thanksgiving. It’s the one day a year people can justify gaining a few pounds. Personally I love the food, but spending time with my family after the meal and watching a few Thanksgiving themed classics is my favorite tradition.
For as long as I can remember, I have always watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. No matter the age, my entire extended family will cuddle up with blankets and a piece of pie and watch this movie. The entire movie centers around Charlie Brown and his two Thanksgiving dinners;one for his friends and then the second one for his grandmother. He has trouble finishing the dinner for his friends, but in the end his grandmother invites them all to her Thanksgiving dinner. As uneventful as the movie is, the true meaning of Thanksgiving is received. In the words of Marcie, “Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. We should just be thankful for being together.”
In Funny People, George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is a movie star who returns to his stand-up comedian past after being diagnosed with leukemia. He meets a comic (Seth Rogen) in search of a mentor, and the two tour the country. Throughout the film you see how selected friendships become more familial. Although the film is not centered around Thanksgiving, there is Thanksgiving toast delivered by George about this new “family”, and the film displays many Thanksgiving-style messages.
The 1998 classic rom-com You’ve Got Mail is another Thanksgiving favorite. In the movie, booksellers Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) meet online and quickly build an intense virtual relationship. In reality they actually know each other and are business rivals. Joe finds out who she is but Kathleen remains unaware. It is than up to him to convince her that she doesn’t hate him. The film follows this conflict and includes their Thanksgiving celebrations. This one is definitely a must see.
Jodie Foster’s 1995 comedy Home for the Holidays focuses on Holly Hunter’s Thanksgiving party. This film is a humane look at the dysfunction a family can be. This one is also on heavy rotation during the Thanksgiving season in my house. It truly captures the reality of going back home during the holidays to squabble with relatives and eat lots of food.
Although it isn’t out yet, Instant Family is an upcoming film that definitely reminds viewers to appreciate family no matter how complicated. So as this isn’t a classic, I believe one day it could be considered a classic. Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne serve as a married couple who become foster parents for three kids. It premieres November 16 so make sure to check it out.
As the days of festivities comes to an end, remember that some classic Thanksgiving films are available to be enjoyed by you and your friends and family.