In the United States, a special time of year is settling in where we visit family or a close-knit crew of friends and celebrate what these special people mean to one another. It’s a coming together over a feast for Thanksgiving. It can also become tradition that after the feast, it’s time to sit down and watch a film. Here are some Thanksgiving-inspired movies you can add to your watch-list for this Thanksgiving:
Differing from our old list, this is one of the newer films out there, having been released in 2020. The story follows Molly, played by Malin Akerman, and Abby, played by Kat Dennings, both of whom decide to host a Thanksgiving dinner for their friends.
Even among friends, a simple, peaceful dinner won’t be what the two hosts are in for. More like a pretty dysfunctional and chaotic dinner is what actually unfolds. This movie is best reserved for more mature audiences (like the friends you’ll be hanging around). But all in all, it goes to show that for those who aren’t on the best terms with their family, there’s still a way to celebrate the holiday without feeling left out or lonely.
Home For The Holidays
Home For The Holidays has a timeless message that’s more important than ever. The film strives to both teach and remind us that even the most divided families can realize the value of being alive and together. In this film, a single mom named Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) loses her job and flies to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with her parents in Baltimore.
The family dinner descends into madness when family members with contrasting opinions are gathered together at the dinner table. Among these members is a highly-conservative sister, some spoiled nieces and nephews, the eccentric Aunt Glady, and more.
The festivities barely stay ordered as tension rises. For all their differences, however, this film doesn’t let its viewers forget the core themes of family union, peace, and thankfulness that sometimes comes from a certain degree of effort that always proves its worth.
Pieces of April
Not all families agree with one another politically, you’d be hard-pressed to find one in perfect harmony in that regard. As a result, politics are the last topic you want to be brought up at the Thanksgiving dinner table. But no matter how heated such a conversation gets, it probably won’t be as weird as with the dysfunctional family in “Pieces of April.”
This comedy-drama is about April Burns, a young woman living in Manhattan with her boyfriend. Despite choosing not to involve herself heavily in family matters, April invites them over for a Thanksgiving dinner, including her mother who now has breast cancer. As one can imagine, there’s plenty that goes wrong, but in the end, they’re able to enjoy a nice dinner together while appreciating the importance of family.
“Pieces of April” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was well-received by critics. It earned several awards nominations and won many, including nearly a dozen Best Supporting Actress awards for Patricia Clarkson’s performance.
Planes, Trains, And Automobiles
In this classic American comedy, Steve Martin (played by comedy legend Neal Page) is a marketing executive who’s anxiously trying to get home in time for Thanksgiving. His journey home becomes woefully elongated (like from a two-hour trip into a three day trip) when he runs into a goofy curtain ring salesman named Del Griffith (John Candy).
Both men are forced to work together as they accidentally find themselves in Wichita, with their shared goal to arrive home in Chicago before Thanksgiving. A great deal of the laughs in this film comes from Neal losing his temper, while Del makes things worse by making mistakes that make their adventure even longer.
In short, this is one of those must-watch Thanksgiving-themed films where, if you haven’t seen it, now is definitely the time!
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Last but not least, how could we not include the classic 1973 Charlie Brown TV special. In this episode, Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown’s for a Thanksgiving feast. There is only one small problem… he hasn’t prepared the feast they’re looking for. With the help of his friends, Charlie and the gang do their best to put together a traditional Thanksgiving feast — enlisting the help of Lucy, Snoopy, Woodstock, Marcie, Franklin, and Linus.
Not only is this special episode a viewing everyone can enjoy, but it’s also only 30 minutes long. Short and sweet, like a nice slice of pumpkin pie!
As we begin to wind down, we here at the New York Film Academy would like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving!