Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that, if we’re not careful, can just blend in with all of the other things that are going on in the fall. This is especially true as the focus has begun to shift to football and Black Friday sales rather than on the true reason we gather round a table at the end of November. To help your family continue the tradition of love and gratitude, consider finding some movies that you can all watch together.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) – Whether it’s the Peanuts special for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas, there’s almost nothing as heartwarming, family-friendly and classic as having this on your television screen. With a little encouragement from his friends (like Peppermint Patty saying “c’mon, you can do it, Chuck!”) and a lot of support from Woodstock and Snoopy, Charlie Brown gets ready to serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner complete with buttered toast and popcorn served on a ping-pong table. We can all relate to the struggle and, hopefully, can all be reminded of what’s really important.
Dutch (1991) – It’s hard to go wrong with a John Hughes film and Dutch is no exception. The great thing about this film is that it shows us what it’s like for blended families during the holidays. Dutch (Ed O’Neill) volunteers to go get his girlfriend’s son, Doyle (Ethan Embry) from his preppy boarding school and drive him home for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, things don’t go exactly as planned but they both end up learning some valuable lessons.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) – Another John Hughes classic is perfect for families who want a good, hearty laugh after their turkey dinner. Two very different men, an executive traveling from Manhattan to Chicago and a shower curtain ring salesman, end up stuck together during their disastrous holiday travel which ends up taking place on every major mode of transportation.
Son in Law (1993) – Pauly Shore isn’t a household name anymore but this film is still perfect for Thanksgiving. Sure, it’s riddled with 90s references and fashion but it’s a great choice to have playing in the background while the family tidies up after a long day. In the film, Rebecca (Carla Gugino) leaves L.A. for her home in the Midwest for Thanksgiving and brings her college friend, Crawl (Shore), as part of a ruse to keep an old suitor at bay. She never expected the possibility that the surfer dude might actually win her (and her conservative family) over.
Home for the Holidays (1995) – It’s got laughs, drama and an all-star cast (including Robert Downey Jr.!). What’s not to like about this classic Thanksgiving film? Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) loses her job, kisses her former boss and deals with the antics of her daughter who is dead-set on spending the holiday with her boyfriend. Most of us can definitely relate to how much crazier things get once everyone sits around the dinner table.
The Blind Side (2009) – This film, in which Sandra Bullock delivers an Oscar-winning performance, is the definition of heartwarming. Based on a true story, Leigh Anne Tuohy decides to open her home to homeless football star, Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) despite having a family of her own to care for. It pays off because Oher eventually becomes a first-round NFL draft pick! Don’t miss the conversation after Thanksgiving dinner that changes everything.
Between checking the football score and scouring for the best Black Friday deals, make some time to enjoy, at least, one of these movies while you spend time with your family. It will be worth it.