As you prep away in the kitchen for the big meal, I thought I’d make some recommendations for when it’s finally time to sit down and relax. It’s really hard to find Thanksgiving movies these days, especially since come November 1st everyone seems to bypass Thanksgiving and go right to Christmas! And there is certainly no shortage of Christmas movies out there! And sure ABC Family would not get much hype over a so many days of Thanksgiving Marathon, but maybe that’s because they haven’t found the right movies!
1. Son in Law (1993)
If you haven’t seen it, it is a must for multiple reasons. Number one being that it features the ever charismatic but mostly crude Pauly Shore in the prime of his career as the title character, “Crawl.” Funny, now when I hear that I think of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Who knew Mr. Shore had the name first! Also, being from the 90s, the fashion is incredibly on point. Lots of denim overalls. The movie also features Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (before she dropped the Amber) and Carla Gugino as the main character, Becca. To give you a summary, Becca leaves her family farm in South Dakota for college in Los Angeles, gets homesick and wants to leave, but is comforted by her R.A. Crawl who shows her the joys of the Big City and she gets a big makeover (i.e.changes hair/clothes and wears makeup). She brings him home for Thanksgiving much to the chagrin of her conservative family and doting boyfriend. Chaos naturally ensues as Pauly Shore performs basic chores around the farm and slowly worms his way into the family’s hearts.
2. Jack and Jill (2011)
Not one of Adam Sandler’s better movies, but if you are a fan of seeing him in drag, then you are in luck! Sandler plays both Jack and his twin sister Jill in this holiday comedy. Jack must put up with his sister as she visits him and his family for Thanksgiving, but the visit quickly turns into a very unwelcome and extended stay. Sandler follows the same old pattern as he plays the successful husband to a beautiful wife (this time Katie Holmes) and father to two not so great kids. There are some laughs; what you’d expect from the annual Adam Sandler movie. Surprise though! Al Pacino appears as an exaggerated version of himself lovestruck by Jill, obviously.
3. Free Birds (2013)
This one is for the kiddos. Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler lend their voices to this animated family feature about two turkeys who travel…wait for it…back in time. Think Back to Future meets cartoon turkeys meets the Mayflower. And really, isn’t that what we all thought was missing from the Back to the Future series? More cartoon turkeys please. Anyway, these two turkeys do not get along but they must because they are turkeys with a cause! They travel back to the original Thanksgiving in colonial times to make sure no one cooked and ate a turkey and thereby changing history forever! Turn this on for the children while you give in to your Tryptophan induced coma and take a snoozer on the couch.
4. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)
Alright so technically this movie is not about Thanksgiving but it does focus on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving dreaded by all retail employees everywhere. The deals have gotten out of control! And stores open on Thanksgiving at like 4 pm, well that cuts into some serious turkey eatin’ time, oh and family time of course. Sometimes the deals aren’t even that good! I worked in retail in a shopping mall for two years, so I have good reasons for my stance! Plus, Cyber Monday…beat those crowds, wait it out, buy it online…there’s probably free shipping too! Anyway, Kevin James brilliantly plays the title role of Paul Blart a single parent abandoned by his wife who only married him for U.S. citizenship. He lives with his Mom and daughter who help to monitor his hypoglycemia. Blart rides his segway patrolling the mall. Some extremely cunning and very high tech thieves come in and try to rob the bank inside the mall on Black Friday (Hello??? Pick the busiest shopping day of the year why don’t you?). There are hostages, including Blart’s daughter and Amy, the hair extension kiosk girl he’s been crushing on. All mall security retreats, except for Blart who was distracted playing a video game, but now it is up to him to save the day! Honestly though, this movie is really funny and great for families! Or me sitting at home on a Saturday afternoon…I enjoy this movie way more than I should. Good thing they just announced a sequel!
5. Addams Family Values (1993)
Now some might say this is a Halloween movie, others might say it doesn’t associate with any holiday, well they obviously have not seen this gem of a children’s summer camp play.
Alright, alright I’ve been caught. I threw this movie in because I love it so much. But the play makes it kind of about Thanksgiving…right? Oh well. But the concept for this play genuinely makes no sense. They are at summer camp. Why would they put on a play about Thanksgiving? Somebody had to set fire to that set.
No more questions. Just take it in.
This movie has recently become an all-time favorite of mine. I laugh through like 80% of the movie, and for the remaining 20% I am smiling, knowing that I’ll be laughing again soon. There are just so many good performances. The actors really took on and became these characters. Oh and the script! There are just so many good lines. I should also mention that this a sequel! The first movie is forgettable, really just building premise. Very rarely does a sequel surpass the first movie, but this one does by miles! And Joan Cusack. I saved the best for last. She gave the performance of her career (maybe not saying much because I’m only comparing her to Sixteen Candles and School of Rock). I can’t go on anymore, just let Debbie tell you herself.
Ok I’m done.