The best Thanksgiving movies

The Thanksgiving movie is not that great genre. It turned out that watching people pass the jams on the screen is a faint substitute for sharing the actual meal with family and friends.

But this unusual Thanksgiving season, when many people break with tradition, whether they want to or not, can provide a truly reassuring taste to the normal. Just be careful. Search Google for “Thanksgiving Movies” and a few hits – “The Ice Storm,” “Krisha” – will thicken the sauce’s taste with resentment and anger.

The good news is that most Thanksgiving movies, even those with complex family dynamics, provide uplifting entertainment. The following options – full of comedy and social hardship – give way to a rival at the heart of the Jell-O form.

Gurinder Chadha’s gay ensemble comedy offers a multicultural snapshot of Thanksgiving with the eyes and stomachs of four families – black, Jewish, Latin and Asian – preparing and sharing Thanksgiving dinner. The story is recorded by four mothers – played by Lainie Kazan, Alfre Woodard, Mercedes Ruehl and Joan Chen – who try to hold the celebration together despite family tensions and excavations over sexuality and cultural assimilation.

At the heart of all four stories is the food, and the camera lovingly spares the ingredients, which are chopped, seasoned and fried according to the culinary traditions of the families. It’s best not to look on an empty stomach. In his critique of The Times, AO Scott called it a “generous and glamorous” film that “breathes new life into its presupposition of use”.

The Buddha is a comedy

Rent on Amazon, Google Play and Voodoo.

This beloved John Hughes comedy is not a Christmas movie, unlike his cane-colored commercials. It’s actually an attempt to celebrate Thanksgiving, as a result of which upscale Neal Page (Steve Martin) and yokel salesman Del Griffith (John Candy) scurry through the snow and single motel rooms.

Hughes, who died in 2009, was given a soft spot for weird pairs of weird people, and here that affinity shines in his joyful, funny script. As the strange couple embark on an absurd journey through the brittle Midwest, Martin and Candy are hilarious yet touching performances that are master classes in cunning riding. If the words “these aren’t pillows” don’t color your Thanksgiving, then you’re Scrooge.

But it’s the unparalleled comic actress, Edie McClurg, who steals the show for a short time as a shaky car rental agent giving one of the film’s funniest (and most unprintable) strikes. It can be assumed that without this wonderfully profane scene, the film would not have received an R rating.

The animation romp

Stream on Hulu.

Critics didn’t exactly swallow this computer-animated film about two turkeys (voiced by Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson) who bring a time machine back for their first Thanksgiving in a history-changing quest to prevent turkey from being a traditional festive dish. (“Is Hollywood making you turn your little ones into confident vegetarians?” He panicked at The New York Post.) The film, directed by Jimmy Hayward, also received mixed reviews about his marketing partnership with Chuck E. Cheese and his treatment of Indigenous Americans in question. characters.

Despite the criticism, this PETA-approved film takes a soft spot in the hearts of parents who opt for meat-free Thanksgiving and who won’t have trouble talking about where meat comes from before going to bed. Like the movie about the killer Santa, “Free Birds” gets points for a “chick” -like rebellious message – who needs a turkey for Thanksgiving? – it evokes a dedicated festive tradition with a child-friendly eagle. This is an inappropriate film that is a great choice for families – carnivores and vegans alike – who, according to one critic, would enjoy “one of the strangest and most unlikely family pastimes for a long, long time”.

The protagonist of this touching indie dramatic film is Katie Holmes, April, a punk black sheep who invites a family alienated from the suburbs to have Thanksgiving dinner with her and her friend (Derek Luke) at a skating apartment in Manhattan. Next: April’s cooking skills better match “Nailed It!” -Nek. like “The Great British Baking Show,” and worse, her mother (Patricia Clarkson) is dying of cancer and is perhaps celebrating her last Thanksgiving.

Written and directed by Peter Hedges, the film divided critics because they rely too much on the dysfunctional family holiday playbook. But the comedy shifts sharply from the broad and the physical to the tragic and angry, as emotions and accidents threaten to upset the supposedly conciliatory family visit. The strong cast, which includes Oliver Platt, Alison Pill and Sean Hayes, makes it easy to find real people inside the gags. The film was shot on digital video made at the turn of the millennium, giving a scrap look to the nostalgia of the 2000s.

The Ensemble Escapade

Rent on Amazon, Google Play and Redbox.

An old-fashioned Thanksgiving dinner calls for turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. What you don’t need is the family, at least not the one you were born with. This is a prerequisite to this new comedy, written and directed by Nicol Paone, about a wildly dysfunctional “friendship,” a portmanteau that describes a pre-Thanksgiving meal shared by friends, usually before they go home to their parents.

Kat Dennings and Malin Akerman are portrayed as gal buddies breaking bread with sexually and racially diverse eccentric friends, clueless newcomers and party bats. In a Times review, Gyarkye Lovia said the film “takes a surprisingly glamorous and fun approach to a traditional holiday”. Watch Jane Seymourt as a sexy mom to the toasters and henchmen of Fortune Feimster, Wanda Sykes and Margaret Cho as enchanted “fairy gay mothers”.