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While sitting around a holiday table with all your relatives do you ever wonder, who are these people and where did they come from? That’s what Holly Hunter wonders throughout Home for the Holidays. Home for the Holidays is a 1995 film directed by Jodie Foster. The story is based on Thanksgiving. Claudia (Holly Hunter) has an insane Thanksgiving dinner reunion with her dysfunctional family. Through arguments, revealed secrets, and a turkey falling onto the tightly wound sister, Home for the Holidays is a hilarious story which gives viewers the pleasure of watching someone else’s crazy dinner.
The film stars many well-known actors such as Anne Bancroft, the nagging mother of Claudia, Charles Durning, Claudia’s outspoken father, Robert Downey Jr., Cynthia Stevenson, Dylan McDermott and Geraldine Chaplin as Aunt Glady who has had a little too much to drink.
Home for the Holidays essence is character. The characters are what bring films to life through hilarious dialogue and recogniseable personalities. Without character, viewers have no one to relate to. No Thanksgiving film would be what it is without the dad sneaking a piece of pie, sisters arguing, and spending most of the day in a busy kitchen.
Home for the Holidays is filled with many memorable one-liners, especially when a stressed Holly Hunter leaves a long phone message to her brother. This, I call, is her oscar scene. In the first five minutes of the film, Hunter has already been fired, is told from her daughter that she will have prepared relations with her boyfriend, and is even battling a cold. She can’t catch a break.
Tommy (Robert Downey Jr.) is the hyperactive, good-hearted brother of Claudia. Although he was portrayed that way in the film, off camera Downey actually struggled with a drug addiction. In accounts, he says that he doesn’t remember making this picture.
Reading about the history of behind the scenes in movies is one of my favorite leisure delights. You can find out several interesting facts that really change your perspective on a film. Since this film, Robert Downey Jr. has received help for his addiction and has been sober since 2003. One of the most important messages from this film is change. You can’t change your family. But, only you can change you.
This is a cult favorite of my Grandmother’s which has now become a favorite of mine. Family is a blessing. We have our ups and downs, our arguments, but no matter what we should always forgive. Holidays can be a hassle with the constant planning, buying gifts, and the traveling, but it’s so worth it, in the end, to visit with family.
One scene that really sticks out to me other than the table hopping Thanksgiving scene, is where Claudia tries to make amends with her sister, Joanne (Cynthia Stevenson). Stevenson stings her sister's heart with this line, “If I met you on the street, I’d throw away your number.” Talk about harsh! Although most films would try to end things on a happy note sometimes, in reality, you can’t. Although this line of dialogue turned me off Home for the Holidays is still a decent film to watch.
Live, change, grow and move on. Thanksgiving is a holiday to get together with your family and share some turkey along with memories. I enjoyed each actor portray a different character. This film is very relatable and highlights that famous quote, ‘There’s one in every family.’
If you get around to it on your Thanksgiving holiday, I recommend Home for the Holidays. The famous dinner scene is the highlight. You and your family can share a laugh together while eating your meal.