I don't know about you, but I love Thanksgiving. Always have, always will. To me, it's like Christmas only better, an excuse to hang out with the people you love and eat obscene amounts of food without the hassle of buying more junk nobody needs.
But clearly that's just me.
Anyway, there aren't a lot of good Thanksgiving-related movies out there, but here are my picks as the five best:
Miracle On 34th Street (the 1947 version, please)—This is the one Katie-Bar-The-Door and I watch every year as we're sleeping off lunch. The charming story of how Santa Claus came to town and wound up on trial for his sanity, Miracle on 34th Street starts at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and is a great way to kick off the Christmas season (assuming that, like the Monkey, you refuse to acknowledge those decorations that have been up since Columbus Day).
Serve with warm pecan pie straight from the oven.
Hannah And Her Sisters (1986)—Woody Allen's surprisingly warm tale of three neurotic sisters and their equally neurotic love lives, bookended by sumptuous Thanksgiving celebrations straight out of a Martha Stewart wet dream. As a bonus, Woody learns life is worth living while watching the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup.
Serve with a nice Bordeaux aged in Anton Chekhov's wine cellar.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)—Roger Ebert's favorite Thanksgiving Day movie, it's a classic odd couple comedy from John Hughes, starring an uptight Steve Martin and the slovenly salt of the earth John Candy as two men desperately trying to get home for the holidays. "How do they know which way we're going?" Tart and funny with all the sugar backloaded to the last five minutes.
Serve with all the trimmings.
Home For The Holidays (1995)—My literary agent, Jill, thinks this is the best Thanksgiving movie ever. It's a comedy filled with hostility, anxiety, irrational grievances and all the unfulfilled familial expectations you could ever want. Not to mention someone gets a turkey dumped in their lap. In other words, it's a documentary of the typical American Thanksgiving dinner.
Serve with bile and battery acid.
The Ice Storm (1997)—Alcoholism, wife swapping, teenage sex—and the best Thanksgiving toast ever. If you grew up in a lunatic asylum or are simply nostalgic for the free-love Seventies, this is the movie for you. Stars Joan Allen and Kevin Kline (sans moustache, and you know what that means).
Serve with cocaine and quaaludes.