Thanksgiving Moments: Home for the Holidays (1995)
While most of our movies for this series have not actually revolved solely around Thanksgiving, this particular movie does. Home for the Holidays is a comedy-drama film from 1995 that was directed by Jodie Foster. The screenplay was written by W. D. Richter and based upon a short story by Chris Radant. The film follows a single mother who finds herself returning home for the holidays alone after her daughter makes plans of her own. The movie stars Holly Hunter as the main character, Claudia Larson, and the supporting cast includes Robert Downey, Jr., Anne Bancroft, Dylan McDermott, Steve Guttenberg, and Claire Danes.
So, why does Home for the Holidays get to be included in our Thanksgiving Moments blog series?
1) Family Dynamics
The glue of this movie is easily the relationships between the different family members. This movie features the quintessential overbearing parents, who really do want the best for their children at the end of the day. It has interesting dynamics between the siblings with classic rivalries and the one resenting the others for not helping “look after” the parents. Then it has the character of Tommy, who manages to somehow bring out the worst and the best in his sisters. These rivalries and complicated relationships truly are the backbone of the film, and these are dynamics that many people across America can relate to on any given Thanksgiving holiday.
2) Thanksgiving Catastrophes
The family dynamics really do lead to every other conflict and fiasco in the movie, and the moment that is most prevalent is during Thanksgiving day itself. It truly is one catastrophe after another between the family fights and actual food mishaps. They squabble over who should bring what and whose dish is best. There is a complete meltdown during the meal itself, which leads to awkward confessions and a turkey landing on someone. The meal is then cut short with one family angrily leaving the festivities.
Basically, this family’s Thanksgiving day is the culmination of everything that could go wrong on turkey day, and it’s pretty funny to see it all happen.
3) Holiday Jokes
While this movie has some weird structuring and several hit or miss moments, there are some decent jokes and one-liners throughout. There are several solid jokes about having to suffer through family gatherings back to back thanks to Thanksgiving and Christmas being so close together. Holly Hunter’s character in particular is hilarious in respect to this. However, the tagline manages to sum it all up perfectly. The tagline includes the statement that on Thanksgiving 84 million American families will gather together and wonder why. This movie leans into that while also providing some heartwarming moments in the middle of the madness.
So, have you ever watched this movie? What was your favorite part of it? Comment and let us know.
Stay tuned next week as we look at one last movie that ties into the Thanksgiving holiday in some way.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.