It’s that time of year when our friends across the Atlantic are sitting down to a big turkey dinner and watching American football all day long! Yup, it’s Thanksgiving and in celebration of the day we’re taking a look at five films that taught us a thing or two about America’s favourite holiday.
Take a Native American woman, a talking tree and a man with a great big boat, throw em all together and whaddaya get? Disney Princess number 7, a reminder of who lived where first and an eye opening lesson in painting. Don Conroy drew a mean owl but even he couldn’t paint with all the colours of the wind! Oh and keep those ears open because believe it or not, The Dark Knight himself, Christian Bale, lends his voice to this one.
What we learned: Us Europeans aren’t exactly an innocent bunch, especially when we think there are shiny things to be found!
4. Pieces of April
Who’d have thought Katie Holmes would end up making so many showbiz headlines? Nobody watching this one anyway. She plays indie chick April who decides to take it upon herself to cook dinner for her friends and estranged family. Sure aren’t the holidays always about having to see relatives you barely speak to? Anyway, there’s trouble in the kitchen when the oven breaks down and the gang have to team up if they’re going to get a turkey on the table.
What we learned: You don’t need an oven to enjoy Thanksgiving and hot purpleish pink punk is a look Katie shouldn’t revisit.
3. Home for the Holidays
There’s nothing like a good family row to spice up the festive season and it seems that same applies at Thanksgiving. Jodie Foster made her directorial debut with Home for the Holidays, a flick that followed single mom Claudia, well, home for the, ehh, holidays. Throw in Claudia’s resentful sister, Joanne, her stuffy banker husband Walter, their two spoiled children, her gay brother Tommy and his new friend Leo Fish and you’re in for one hell of a dinner!
What we learned: No matter how awful you think they are or how much you fight with them, there’s at least one day of the year that you can’t avoid spending with your family.
2. Hannah and Her Sisters
Woody Allen was on to a winner when he made this little gem which followed a family for two years, beginning and ending at Thanksgiving parties thrown by, you guessed it, a gal called Hannah! Mia Farrow, Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest starred alongside Woody himself, and the movie picked up both Best Supporting gongs at the Oscars in 1986. This one’s a cracker all year round!
What we learned: Every family has its problems but that’s what makes them special. Yes, this one had us feeling a bit sentimental.
1. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
This little offering is often dubbed the ultimate in ‘holiday’ movies and comes courtesy of John Hughes, the man behind The Breakfast Club. Steve Martin and the late John Candy star as an odd couple who are thrown together when their flight home for Thanksgiving gets diverted because of a blizzard. Insert haphazard adventures, trains and automobiles here and now we’re suckin diesel.
What we learned: Don’t leave travel until the last minute on Thanksgiving and when Steve Martin asks you for a car, give him a car.