It seems odd to us how Christmas gets more than its fair share of holiday movies, while Thanksgiving gets bumped to the bench in the theaters. So here are six Thanksgiving-themed films that we’ve dug up to get into the spirit of pumpkin pie, turkey and awkward family get-togethers:
1. National Lampoon’s Thanksgiving Family Reunion
The National Lampoon rule of thumb is that if it isn’t Animal House, any of the Vacation movies (and even not all of those), or the first Van Wilder, it’s going to suck harder than the cold vaccuum of space. That goes with Thanksgiving Family Reunion, which plumbs the depths of comedic sewage for a few lost nuggets of funny but fails, even with the sterling presence of “My Name Is” Judge Reinhold.
2. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
On the “good” side of the comedy spectrum is this beloved John Hughes classic about a couple of guys just trying to make it to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving dinner goodness. Pillows not included.
3. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
To be sure, Charlie Brown’s Halloween and Christmas specials are better-known and liked, but don’t be so quick to dismiss this Emmy award-winning endeavor. After all, it taught us that even when a dog serves you up toast, pretzels, popcorn and jelly beans, you can still have one of the best meals of your life.
4. Home for the Holidays
How much do we love Holly Hunter? A lot, thank you. I can’t profess to ever seeing this movie, but the cover’s often caught my eye — it doesn’t exactly look as though she’s relishing going home, even if there’s cranberry sauce on the dinner table. Mmm. How much do we love cranberry sauce? A lot.
5. Son in Law
“Oh yeah,” you remember. “Son in Law DID take place over Thanksgiving break!” And that it did, pard’ner, as Mr. Shore and the delectible Carla Gugino (Sin City, Watchmen) traveled to a South Dakota farm for a genuine country Thanksgiving — with a Weasel twist, of course.
It’s movie law that any films about families coming together over the holidays have to feature insanely dysfunctional relationships — after all, who wants to see people getting along, hugging and having a great time? Pfft. That ain’t fun. Katie Holmes cooks this Thanksgiving meal, sort of.