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What makes a film a Thanksgiving film? A movie that resonates with family and thankfulness. The type of movie centralized around Thanksgiving for the whole family. These are some of the movies that are great to watch during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The entire family can gather around the television after sharing a big feast and watch one of these Thanksgiving film greats. Here’s a great list of the best Thanksgiving movies that you can enjoy with your family, and yes, there are options for everyone, from little kids to older kids and even for those who prefer a bit of dysfunctional family drama.
What are the best family Thanksgiving movies?
Rebecca Warner grew up in a small town full of farms. When she decides to go off to Los Angeles for college, she experiences a huge culture shock. She meets Crawl, the party animal of the century and he influences her to acclimate to their surroundings. When she gets ready to go home for Thanksgiving, she learns that Crawl has no place to go so she invites him to her house.
As soon as he sets foot in the town, he messes up everything turning the town upside down. Along this crazy adventure, he finds himself falling for Rebecca. The family and town soon adjusts to his wacky nature and accepts him for who he is. And he experiences a family he’s never had.
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Peppermint Patty forces Charlie Brown to throw a Thanksgiving feast for her and her friends. Charlie, not knowing how to cook anything has to quickly devise a plan to please Patty and her guests. He finally comes up with toast, popcorn, pretzel sticks and jelly beans served on a ping pong table. Charlie is amazed at the outcome but patty is not a happy camper. Charlie finally comes around to showing Patty the most important thing about Thanksgiving, togetherness and thankfulness.
The day after Thanksgiving, Eliza finds a love letter that she thinks might be written to her husband Louis. She is concerned that it will ruin her marriage so she consults her mother. Her mother, Rita shares it with Eliza’s dad, Jim, her sister Jo and her sister’s boyfriend, Carl. Rita advises Eliza to face the situation head on and go to her husband and confront him. Everyone piles into the station wagon and heads over to Louis’ office.
The trip turns into a disaster. Along the way, truths come out and the real problem to solve is amongst their own family. Trust, honesty, and communication are the glue that hold relationships together. Are those factors still in Eliza’s family as well as her marriage?
Oscar Grubman is naturally a ladies’ man. Interestingly, he can tell a lot about a woman through her hands. On his way home for the Thanksgiving weekend, Oscar desires to win the heart of his stepmother, Eve. In his pursuit, he gets rejected but accepted by her best friend Diane. She is taken by him but he has better fish to fry. He continues his quest and gets an unlikely outcome.
Scent of a Woman
Charlie Simms is a prep school student who needs money to pay for his Christmas trip home. He takes his Thanksgiving weekend to take a job looking after a bitter, retired blind alcoholic, Frank Slade. Frank whisks Charlie away with him to New York to have Thanksgiving dinner with Frank’s brother. Frank tells Charlie that he wants to spend a weekend in luxury before he kills himself afterwards. Charlie, unknowing if this is a joke or not, does everything asked of him. Charlie learns many lessons from Frank and a romance sparks. As they part ways, they will always remember the bond between them and the eventful weekend they had together.
The House of Yes
Marty Pascal decides to introduce his fiancÃ©, Lesly to his family over the Thanksgiving holiday. Lesly is oblivious to the odd nature of the family even after she meets Marty’s twin sister Jackie and their younger brother, Anthony. Anthony tries to warn Lesly about Jackie and Marty’s strange relationship but Lesly ultimately finds out for herself as she walks in on them having sex. Lesly immediately wants to get out but Jackie can’t resist playing her assassination games. Lesly kills Marty and runs for her life.
Pieces of April
April Burns has decided to invite her estranged family to Thanksgiving dinner at her apartment. She sends her boyfriend Bobby out so she can make a huge feast. Her family reluctantly leaves Pennsylvania and heads over to New York. April’s dad Jim tries to be optimistic about the dinner but her mom, Joy just knows that this can’t be good. Still, the family treads on as April, with the help of the neighbor’s oven makes the best Thanksgiving feast she knows how to provide.
The Ice Storm
Ben and Elena Hood try to live the suburban life in Connecticut as they fight through their marriage which is reeking in infidelity as Ben cheats on Elena with their neighbor, Janey Carver. He starts to fall for her and learns that she doesn’t want another husband. His children, Mikey and Sandy are testing the pressures of teenage life while the Watergate scandal is going on. Can the Hood family keep it all together during this ice storm?
Home for the Holidays
Claudia Larson gets fired from her job and flies home to her parent’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Her daughter Kitt wants to stay home with the intention of sleeping with her boyfriend. Claudia comes home to a chaotic dinner with her sister Joanne and her husband Walter, her homosexual brother Tommy and his plus one, Leo. Claudia is confused at why Tommy has brought Leo instead of his true lover Jack. She learns that Leo is really there for her and a romance sparks.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Neal Page gets on the next flight to Chicago. The plane is delayed but he eventually boards next to an obnoxious shower-curtain-ring salesman named Del Griffith. The flight gets detoured in Wichita and Neal, with an insurmountable misfortune, gets stuck with Del again. The quest was only to get home by Thanksgiving but Del makes this quite an adventure. All he can think about is how to get away from this crazy man. But Neal soon finds out that Del may be the best friend Neal ever had.
Other Thanksgiving movies worth mentioning
As Thanksgiving approaches, many families are preparing their Thanksgiving menu and perhaps pondering what to watch once the turkey day feast is over.
Thanksgiving Family-Friendly Options
- Addams Family Values: This film starring Christina Ricci showcases a dysfunctional family in the most endearing way possible. Don’t miss the hilarious Thanksgiving scene.
- Free Birds: This animated movie starring Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson offers a whimsical look at the turkey’s point of view.
- Garfield’s Thanksgiving: An oldie but a goodie, perfect for younger kids who are more into pumpkin pie than turkey.
- A Winnie The Pooh Thanksgiving: Venture into the Hundred Acre Wood for a tale that’s sure to captivate the little ones.
Thanksgiving Movies For Older Kids and Adults
- Little Women: Directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan, this adaptation offers an older, more romantic perspective.
- Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Starring Steve Martin and John Candy, it’s a comedic journey that showcases the hurdles of holiday travel.
- The Blind Side: This true story stars Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy, who takes in Michael Oher, an underprivileged young man. It’s a heartwarming tale perfect for the time of year.
Additional Thanksgiving Movie Picks
- Home for the Holidays: Directed by Jodie Foster, starring Holly Hunter and Anne Bancroft, offers a real look at family members during the holidays.
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop: Starring Kevin James, a light-hearted movie that takes you from the Thanksgiving dinner table straight to the chaos of Black Friday.
This Thanksgiving, find a better way to kick off the holiday season by choosing a film that everyone can enjoy. Whether it’s a romantic comedy, a true story, or an animated film, these Thanksgiving movies will surely bring your family closer this holiday.
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