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There are many Christmas and Halloween films every year, but there are hardly any Thanksgiving-themed movies out there. Of course, there are films you can watch on Thanksgiving, but not many are actually centered around the holiday.
Luckily, if you do want to keep in the turkey spirit you are in luck! Here are some movies that are either about Thanksgiving or at least centered around it.
"Free Birds" (2013)
This animated family film probably has more to do with Thanksgiving than any other movie. Two turkeys, Reggie (Owen Wilson) and Jake (Woody Harrelson), team up together and travel back in time to stop turkeys from ever being on the holiday menu. Free Birds also features voice talents by Amy Poehler and George Takei. It is the perfect film for the whole family to watch after stuffing your faces with... well stuffing... and turkey. On the other hand... it might make you feel bad about eating your turkey.
"Home for the Holidays" (1995)
This comedy, starring Holly Hunter and Claire Danes, is about single mother Claudia who just got fired from her job, and her daughter decides not to spend Thanksgiving at home. So she is left to struggle with her dysfunctional family while preparing the best dinner a desperate woman can come by. The film also stars Geraldine Chaplin, Charles Durning, Anne Bancroft, and Robert Downy Jr. as Claudia's gay brother.
"When you go home, do you look around and wonder, 'Who are these people, where did I even come from?' I mean, you look at them all, sitting there, you know... they look familiar, but who the hell are they?" - Claudia
"The Ice Storm" (1997)
It is not the most light-hearted film, but Ang Lee's drama takes place on Thanksgiving in 1973 and gives the perfect example of classic holiday dysfunction. A group of suburban families in Connecticut deal with booze, sex, and a lot of uncomfortable tension between members. On top of that, a winter storm is brewing on an already dreary day. The star-studded cast includes Christina Ricci, Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, and Elijah Wood.
"Pieces of April" (2003)
Katie Holmes stars as a daughter trying to get closer to her estranged family, including her very ill mother (played by Patricia Clarkson), by making Thanksgiving dinner herself in a tiny Manhattan apartment. The dramedy, directed by Peter Hedges, is about reconciliation and mending fences with the people you grew apart from. The cast of characters also include Sean Hayes, Allison Pill, and Oliver Platt.
"Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" (1987)
This comedy classic, written and directed by John Hughes, stars Steve Martin and John Candy who get stuck together trying to desperately find their way back home for the holidays. Anybody who has to travel for Thanksgiving can relate to the hilarity and frustration that ensues. Steve Martin's uptight demeanor and Candy's loud behavior will be enjoyable to see on your small screen after a full meal.
"Scent of a Woman" (1992)
School prep Chris O'Donell looks after retired army veteran Al Pacino over Thanksgiving break in this Oscar nominated film. Al Pacino's performance as the brash blind stands out the most of anything in Scent of a Woman. A good choice for anyone looking for a feel good drama this holiday. The also stars Frances Conroy, June Squibb, and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
"Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986)
The drama/comedy just starts and ends with Thanksgiving within a span of two years, but it is an interesting look into yet another dysfunctional family. Woody Allen's film involves three interwoven stories about Hannah (Mia Farrow) and her two sisters, played by Barbara Hershey and Diane Wiest. Woody also acts in this movie, along with Carrie Fisher and Michael Caine.
So those are some Thanksgiving themed movies to watch. If only there were more out there. Thanksgiving is a special enough time to deserve its' own genre of holiday films. It is the time of year to give thanks for what we have and eat a lot of delicious food. So why not have a movie that really celebrates all those aspects of Thanksgiving. Happy Gobble Gobble, everyone!