The 10 Funniest Movies About Thanksgiving That Aren’t ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’
As the War on Thanksgiving wages on and the Christmas window grows bigger and bigger, it’s easy to get consumed by Christmas classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Elf before the turkey is even out of the oven. But as a purist who thinks that the Christmas season doesn’t commence until Santa rides down 34th Street, it’s high time Thanksgiving movies get their opportunity to shine for the three weeks of the year that they’re relevant.
So while we wait for Kevin Hart and Will Smith’s Planes, Trains and Automobiles remake, here are 10 of the funniest Thanksgiving movies that don’t fixate on any of the aforementioned modes of transportation.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
The Peanuts gang delivered what might be historically the very first Friendsgiving — and probably the most classic piece of Thanksgiving pop culture that isn’t Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Not only that, but it cemented Lucy’s football gag as a Thanksgiving tradition.
The Object of My Affection
This one’s for the girls who have a marriage pact with their gay best friend. Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd star in this unconventional rom-com about a newly-single pregnant woman who agrees to raise the child with her GBFF — only for things to get increasingly complicated. The film builds up to a Thanksgiving dinner that has Aniston’s Nina serving turkey as the table’s “only practicing heterosexual.”
The last thing you want to do after you’ve had several servings of turkey is pull off a heist, but watching Ben Stiller attempt one is a different story. Tower Heist is an action-packed comedy all about getting back at a crook in the middle of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Home for the Holidays
Jodie Foster stepped behind the camera to pay homage to one of Thanksgiving’s greatest traditions: familial dysfunction. Holly Hunter plays a single mom hellbent on having a good, family dinner when she discovers her daughter will be ditching her. Unfortunately for her, things don’t always go the way we want — maybe most especially during the holidays.
She’s Gotta Have It
This might be the Thanksgiving movie where you wait for your parents to hit the hay before queueing up. Spike Lee’s directorial debut isn’t your wholesome holiday fare — unless you’re very progressive and think inviting three men you’re sleeping with over for Thanksgiving dinner is wholesome. Because no one does Thanksgiving dinner like Nola Darling.
The House of Yes
Like the children of divorced parents, Parker Posey is pulling double duty on Thanksgiving — or at least our Thanksgiving movie list (see The Daytrippers below) — starting with this dark comedy about a man introducing his new fiancée to his family over Thanksgiving dinner. Part of that family includes Posey playing a mentally unstable, Jackie Kennedy-obsessed woman with some unsavory desires.
You've Got Mail
While it’s not a Thanksgiving movie start to finish, the Nora Ephron classic is a film that will have you saying “Happy Thanksgiving back” as Shopgirl and NY152 enjoy their holiday feasts and anonymous online tryst.
Nothing brings a family together quite like Thanksgiving — and, of course, finding out that your eldest daughter’s husband wrote a love letter for someone else. The Daytrippers is a day-long odyssey that sees Hope Davis, Anne Meara, Pat McNamara, Liev Schreiber and Posey pack into a Buick Estate and drive from Long Island to Manhattan to get some answers.
The Big Chill
A big part of Thanksgiving is reminiscing about old times and being grateful for your loved ones. That’s also the essence of The Big Chill, which reunites a group of college friends in the wake of a tragedy that has them reflecting on an array of memories — including a gluttonous Thanksgiving feast.
Hannah and Her Sisters
Hannah (Mia Farrow) and her sisters (Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest) weave a complicated tale over 24 months that starts and ends on Thanksgiving. In all, the Oscar-winning classic takes place over three Thanksgivings as the trio of siblings unpack their emotional baggage together.