It’s that time of year when we fill up on family and turkey (or in my case, Columbus’s best Chinese food) in order to gain just enough energy to survive finals. And while the food is fantastic, it can be tiresome to have conversation after conversation with extended family about “how school is going.” So if small talk and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade aren’t really your forte, a movie marathon is definitely necessary. And honestly, what goes better with Thanksgiving leftovers than movies? Here are my picks for this holiday:
The Godfather I and II
This might strike you as an odd choice at first, but Thanksgiving is all about family and so are our favorite mobsters, the Corleone crew. Last year, AMC marathon-ed the films, and I am making a motion to continue that tradition. The first two Godfather films are legendary, iconic, and perfect for family commentary. Plus, the Corleone’s are experts in teaching you the value of family loyalty and the pitfalls of disloyalty – we’re looking at you, Fredo.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Perhaps one of the most definitive Thanksgiving movies in pop culture, this is Steve Martin and John Candy at their comedic finest. So much of this movies is golden, from the duo’s hiliarious sleeping arrangements, trip down the wrong side of the interstate, and Martin’s swear-off with a rightfully-disgruntled car rental agent. Don’t be fooled though; this film is as heartfelt as it is hysterical. Who would’ve thought a movie featuring John Candy as a shower ring salesman could capture the emotions of the best of us?
I stand by the fact that the first Rocky is one of the greatest films ever made. Yes, its sequels are prolific and vary in quality, but the first film is one of genuine heart, fully-realized characters, and familiarity. The film is set in Thanksgiving and is watching it is tradition for me, personally. At the very least, you’ll be dancing to “Eye of the Tiger” by the end.
Hannah and Her Sisters
Widely regarded as one of Woody Allen’s best films, Hannah and her Sisters, tells intertwined stories – all connected through Mia Farrow’s Hannah – over two years, bookmarked by two Thanksgiving dinners. This is a traditional Allen film, combining wit, cultural and sexual politics, complicated families, and of course, a heavy dose of neuroticism. This is a great film to remind us that all families come with a little dysfunction.
Pieces of April
This film stars a pre-Tom Cruise Katie Holmes as the black sheep of her family, living in New York, desperately trying to pull together a dinner for her family. The movie follows her antics and her family’s road trip (Patricia Clarkson as her mother, Alison Pill as her sister). It’s charming and funny in a quirky, realistic way and definitely strikes true for anyone who identifies as the “hot mess” of the family.
BONUS: All of the Friends Thanksgiving episodes are classics in their own right. Friends and Seinfeld Thanksgiving shows will be on TBS this year. Binge-watch away!
A very happy Thanksgiving from Up!
– Jenny Henderson