5 Thanksgiving Movies to Be Thankful For
If someone tells you there are no good Thanksgiving movies, put a turkey mask over their head because that's what they are - a turkey.
Sure there aren't as many Feast Day flicks as Christmas movies, but there are some gems out there I make it a point to re-watch every year.
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This may be a controversial opinion for some, but the A-plot involving Uncle Fester marrying a gold-digging psychotic is pretty standard 90's comedy stuff. There are some fun sight gags and puns, but it's ultimately just fluff.
It's the B-plot with Wednesday and Pugsley being sentenced to summer camp after trying to murder their baby brother that elevates this movie to legendary status.
"But Aaron, what's a movie set at summer camp got to do with Thanksgiving?"
If you have to ask, you obviously haven't treated yourself to this movie and need to do so ASAP.
You see, the Addams children are forced to participate in Camp Chippewa's
chipper reenactment of the first Thanksgiving. Everything with the kids at camp is great, but the Thanksgiving pageant is what it all builds up to - one of the most quotable and memorable movie sequences ever.
Also, Christina Ricci's Wednesday Addams was subverting Thanksgiving tradition way before it was trendy. Just sayin'.
If you weren't around in the early 90's, you missed the Pauly Shore...let's say occurrence. Shore is the son of Comedy Store founder Mitzi Shore, and caught the public's attention with his stoner comedy persona 'The Weasel' on MTV.
I was born in '86, so by the time movies like Encino Man and In the Army Now were coming out, I was just the right age to be all about the Pauly Shore bandwagon. It just so happens The Weasel made a Thanksgiving movie, and I don't care what anyone says - it's a classic.
The story's pretty simple - Shore plays a guy named Crawl who seems to have been in college forever. He takes innocent country girl Becca under his wing, and she takes him home for Thanksgiving. Becca's conservative family and small town don't know what the hell to make of Crawl, and 90's hilarity ensues.
It's a fun movie with a cast who play off Shore's patented weirdness quite well. It's a shame the movie hasn't had a Blue Ray release by now, but you can, like, totally scope it on DVD, buuuuddy.
This movie has all the ingredients for a comedy classic: John Hughes writing and directing, and Steve Martin playing opposite John Candy.
Martin plays stuffy businessman Neal Page, who's trying to get from New York to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his family. He crosses paths with John Candy's character, Del Griffith - a shower curtain ring salesman with a big mouth and a bigger personality.
Without giving away the entire story (or all the jokes), one disaster after another makes Neal's trip absolutely miserable, and he puts the blame squarely on Del, who he just can't seem to get away from.
The poor rental car in this movie goes through the most hell. Hit "F" to pay respects.
It's a John Hughes movie, so you know it ends on a sweet note. It feels earned and you can't help but love these two characters.
WARNING: You will have the Flintstones theme song stuck in your head after watching this movie. I apologize in advance.
Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were in some legendary movies together (The Odd Couple being the most well-known), but there's something extra special about 1993's Grumpy Old Men.
Ann-Margret is in it and still looking great. That's what's so special about it.
Ok, it's also just a fantastic display of the raw, rare chemistry Lemmon and Matthau have always had on screen together. The two play John Gustafson (Lemmon) and Max Goldman (Matthau) - two ice fishing buddies who've been friends and rivals since they were kids. These two argue and insult each other constantly, which is entertaining enough. When Ann-Margret's character, Ariel Truax, moves to town, both men fall in love with her and the bickering and pranking only get worse.
There's a memorable Thanksgiving scene in the movie, which was my excuse to add it to this list and possibly share it with a new generation.
Aside from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, I can't think of a buddy comedy duo in recent years who can match Lemmon and Matthau's perfect chemistry. You definitely need to check it out. The sequel's not bad, either.
Yeah, like I wasn't going to include this one. C'mon.
Peanuts specials are like a reset button for the soul. No matter how stressed out you are or how frantic your holiday has been, you can put on a comfy Peanuts movie and it somehow magically puts everything into perfect perspective.
That's certainly the case here. In case you haven't seen it, here's a quick synopsis. Charlie Brown is too polite to say "no" when Peppermint Patty invites herself and several of her friends to Chuck's house for Thanksgiving. Charlie Brown's faithful friends Linus and Snoopy help him put together a last-minute feast that doesn't exactly wow the crowd.
Aside from the cute, simple story, this special is also a favorite because of the funky soundtrack. Peanuts specials always have great music. I love it.
I'm one of those people who'll put on a comfort movie like this at all times of the year. If you're the same, pick it up on DVD. You never know when you'll need it.