As Big Hollywood points out, there aren’t too many movies about Thanksgiving, but there are a lot that are perfect for Thanksgiving. Big Hollywood has a list of eight such movies, although I’m not so sure I agree with all of them. Thanksgiving is easily my favorite holiday because it means coming together with friends and family to express thanks for their influence on us and our lives. So what movies best embody this spirit?
I completely agree with the choice of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles — the almost painful relationship between John Candy’s jolly buffoonery and Steve Martin’s desperate classism leads to a lesson a lot of people could stand to learn. Not on the list, however, are a couple of films that really belong in a Thanksgiving film festival. Pixar’s wonderful Cars should definitely be on the list. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really owe it to yourself — and your kids — to run out and buy a copy. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but let’s just say that it’s so moving it still makes me cry every time.
It’s not that I’m such a huge fan, but, yes, Steve Martin shows up twice here. Parenthood is a very poignant and revealing look at family dynamics and how, even despite problems and differences, families can still make it work. Lastly on my list would be Harvey, the classic wherein Jimmy Stewart plays a kind-hearted man who lives only for family and friends. “Years ago my mother used to say to me,” explains Stewart’s character, Elwood P. Dowd, “she’d say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be’ – she always called me Elwood – ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.”
And that, my friends, is Thanksgiving in a nutshell — being pleasant and enjoying the company of others. So may you take comfort in and appreciate the love and friendship of those who inhabit your world, be they family, friends, or six-foot rabbits.