Mariah Carey was thawed out of a block of ice as midnight of Halloween had just passed, totally disregarding that Thanksgiving was next. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is a Christmas song and all I want is for my holidays to be celebrated in order.
I’m not a “Bah Humbug” kind of guy at all. I love Christmas time. I just don’t think it starts in September when some stores start putting up their decorations. Halloween is a great holiday where we get to explore that inner dark side of ourselves and eat all the candy we want. Then comes Thanksgiving, the national holiday of food and football. It’s a very special holiday that should not be looked over and it shouldn’t have to share with anything else. Christmas comes in December and if it were contained to just that month, it would be appreciated even more because of how quickly it comes and goes rather than how soon it arrives and lingers.
But, no! We already have Christmas movies playing on various channels with their ugly sweaters and white Christmas scenes of the powerful business lady who has to leave her high-power firm to travel home to some small town to sort out her family affairs, suffer intolerable conditions of slow internet and blocked roads trapping her there, and then she falls in love with the first guy she met when she arrived but they didn’t get along because he was a simple small town fellow who dared to offer her help when she clearly needed it.
This year, let’s break the cycle. Instead of watching Christmas movies in November, let’s check out Thanksgiving movies instead. There are a few although the selection is slim. Christmas movies have always sold more and with a cookie-cutter template, they can shoot those babies out all day. But if we change things, Thanksgiving movies can rise up and take back November.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
We start off with a Thanksgiving classic already in place. Released in 1973, the Peanuts comic strip comes to life as Snoopy takes center stage but the gang is all there each with their own little idiosyncrasies. This Thanksgiving special has kept children captivated for decades and as adults, it doesn’t hurt to revisit an old tale that takes us back to our childhoods when we sat on the floor in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn watching kids come and go as they pleased without any adult supervision.
Addams Family Values
Instead of It’s A Wonderful Life, for November Addams Family Values seems to be a more appropriate flick. It’s the wonderful cast made up of Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Joan Cusack, and Carol Kane that takes this movie above and beyond prior Addams Family productions. Christina Ricci rules as Wednesday years before Jenna Ortega came along and stole the show. And yes, something about Thanksgiving is in it. Of course.
November isn’t the right time to watch A Christmas Story. So, I suggest Son-in-Law instead where the hilarious Pauly Shore is taken out of his wildlife in L.A. to enjoy Thanksgiving break in South Dakota with a farmgirl he met in college. He helped when she felt out of place in the big city and it’s her turn to make him feel at home with her family. Just imagine, Pauly Shore doing chores on the farm. Now, you get it.
This list is off and running but it’s time for us to take an interesting turn into the life of a student struggling to find her place in college. This one has comedy, family drama, and backstabbing that gives the story its rich depth. The ups and downs through thinly veiled relationships and the scandalous twists that push this story along make it the perfect Thanksgiving movie because all of our families are different and we each celebrate this time of year in our own way.
The Object of My Affection
Jump into a sweet romance with two of your favorites, Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. Instead of Mike and Phoebe, it’s Mike and Rachel in this awkward rom-com about Nina and her gay roommate she begins to have feelings for. When she becomes pregnant, he vows to help her raise the child but eventually, drama comes into the picture when he meets the man of his dreams, and she begins to realize her feelings for him. Oh, and they have Thanksgiving dinner somewhere in the movie.
The Vicious Kind
This is another family twist to the traditional grub holiday where a guy brings his girlfriend to meet the family and celebrate the feast. What a celebration they have too with an older brother who doesn’t think that highly of women while his younger brother’s girlfriend looks awfully a lot like his cheating ex-girlfriend. Feelings start to fly and Emma finds herself the object of too many men’s infatuation. With Adam Scott, Brittany Snow, J.K. Simmons, and Alex Frost playing the four main characters, you’re in for a great Thanksgiving flick.
The House of Yes
The House of Yes brings dark comedy to another story of a man who brings his fiance home to meet the family and thinks that the holiday is the best time to do that. Parker Posey plays Jackie-O, a lady who has an unhealthy obsession with Jackie Onassis and who has just been released from a psychiatric hospital. Upon meeting the fiance, she decides she’s going to break up her brother’s relationship. In a movie darkened by an incestuous relationship and an affair, something special is in the air.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Take yourself back to when John Candy and Steve Martin were only trying to get home for the holiday. But nothing they tried seemed to work. They try everything and encounter hilarious problem after hilarious problem along the way like when John wakes up and thinks his hands are between two pillows but sadly, that’s not the case.
Scent of a Woman
Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell star in this powerful piece of cinema history where a young man takes on the responsibility of looking after an elderly geezer who is tough and battle-worn. He proves to be quite a handful for the struggling prep school student who is facing disciplinary action for the crimes of other privileged backstabbing kids. Instead of making things easy, the old man takes the young fellow to New York where he has a special set of plans that could change the kid’s life forever. It happens over Thanksgiving, so there’s that.
Home For The Holidays
To get back on the lighter side of things, Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr. play brother and sister in this dysfunctional family where everything that could go wrong does go wrong. It’s an American Thanksgiving and it has all the bells and whistles. Fighting over a football game. The dropped turkey in the kitchen. People who you want to spend time with over the holidays but they don’t want to spend that time with you. It’s all there in one comedy that finds a way to have heart.