In fact, dig deep enough and you will come to realize that there is quite an assortment of movies that concern themselves with this particular holiday. There are even some stone cold gems among them, but also some truly horrendous excuses for film making. In fact, one in particular involves two of my favorite actors, Bryan Cranston (perhaps you've heard of him?) and Judge Reinhold, who teamed up in National Lampoon's "Thanksgiving Family Reunion" to bring new meaning to the term "It's a paycheck."
Ten minutes into the film, I'm screaming at the TV screen "Bryan, you don't have to do this, man! Five years from now, you become a total bad-ass!"
Even more cringe-worthy is the fact that it was made for television.
Others that did not make the list:
"Jack & Jill" (Wait, Adam Sandler wasn't nominated for an Academy Award? Shocking!), "ThanksKilling" (turkey goes on a human killing spree), "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" (sigh...), or "Scent Of A Woman", which was widely praised, but, to my eyes, was actually the moment Pacino jumped the shark. Every film he's done since has all but proven this.
Interesting that Al Pacino starred in two movies on the above list. Can you name the other without vomiting in your mouth a little? Hint: Pacino woos Adam Sandler in drag. Shudder.
On that note, we present to you our list of the 10 best Turkey Day flicks OF ALL-TIME (in no particular order):
10. The Last Waltz (1978)
Anyone surprised to see this movie on such a list should be reminded that this is a music publication, after all. Allusions to grandeur aside, this movie makes the list because of the loving, warts-and-all documentation of The Band's farewell concert, which took place on Thanksgiving Day 1976. The above video isn't just a clip, it's the entire film (uploaded in Oct 2016 and with less than 200 views).
9. Rocky (1976)
Being that today is the 40th anniversary of Rocky's initial release, many probably forget seeing Rocky as kids over Thanksgiving holiday of 1976, but it was that holiday box-office rush that ultimately put Rocky over the top. The making of the movie, as we now know, was as much a glorious rags-to-riches story as the film itself.
Rocky is so much more than a boxing movie. What truly makes the whole endeavor special (and applicable to this list) is how Rocky and the love of his life Adrian are brought together by Thanksgiving.
8. You've Got Mail (1998)
As with "The Last Waltz", that isn't just a clip, dat's the whole film, folks. As for this 1998 box-office smash, we're getting dangerously close to being 20 years removed from the precise moment when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were each at maximum adorability. This Nora Ephron rom-com completes the Hanks-Ryan trilogy (which also includes "Joe Vs The Volcano" and "Sleepless In Seattle") on a high note.
Has the movie aged well? Perhaps the better question is: Has anybody aged well?
7. Addams Family Values (1993)
If. like me, you haven't revisited either of the Addams Family films starring Raul Julia, Angelica Huston, and Christina Ricci perhaps you'll have cause to do so over the holiday season. In this sequel to The Addams Family (1991), you will no doubt delight in the chemistry between Huston and Julia (who would pass away a year later), but also in the devilish sabotage of a Thanksgiving recreation performed by Wednesday Addams (Ricci).
6. The Morning After (1986)
Imagine you're an alcoholic actress who wakes up Thanksgiving Day with a hangover. Oh, and a dead guy. Hey, who said there can't also be room for thrillers come Thanksgiving time and what better than this taut thriller from Sidney Lumet starring Jeff Bridges and Jane Fonda? is an all-but-forgotten gem that hasn't lost a step in thirty years. In fact, watch this film and you'll come to realize just how far movie-making has fallen off in that amount of time. By the way, this is the first of two films on this list featuring the late Raul Julia.
5. Hannah & Her Sisters (1986)
How does one succinctly describe a movie that, in the span of 106 minutes manages to introduce almost as many characters who each reveal themselves as the complex walking contradictions that they are and to feature not one but two tense and densely-populated Thanksgiving celebrations.
4. Dutch (1991)
Much of whether this film resonates with you may revolve around whether you're an Ed O'Neill fan or not. Those who would consider an actor who has played both Al Bundy ("Married With Children") and TV husband to Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family") more lucky than good might just have a change of heart after viewing this underrated 1991 flick that sees. The film, much like its own plot, begins to wear you down until you just can't stop watching. Did I mention that the film was written by John Hughes?
3. Grump Old Men (1993)
Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon rightfully enjoyed quite a career resurgence after the box-office bonanza that was "Grump Old Men", however, it is Burgess Meredith who is the star of this show. Sure, it may not be "Citizen Kane", but it is as much a guilty pleasure as anything you see on the table at Thanksgiving. Plus, the bloopers at the end (most featuring Meredith) are worth the price of admission.
2. Nobody's Fool (1994)
Paul Newman imbues ne'er-do-well "Sully" Sullivan with the age-worn bitterness of a man who, quite frankly, just didn't plan on living this long in this big-screen adaptation of Richard Russo's book of the same name. Don't just marvel at the stunning accuracy of their depiction of "the middle of fucking nowhere", but of the many colorful characters found within.
To a man and woman, the casting is impeccable; from Bruce Willis as the philandering Carl Roebuck to Melanie Griffith as his hot, but neglected wife, to Philip Seymour Hoffman as the officer who crosses paths with "Sully" one too many times. Newman's ability to crawl inside such a character and Sully, of course, rents a room from aging Jessica Tandy (in her final film role)
1. Planes, Trains, Automobiles (1987)
Take two cinema stars in their own right and team them up in a movie built on the premise of everything that can go wrong going dreadfully wrong. What if there's no chemistry?
Thankfully, when working with total pros like Martin and the late John Candy, the chemistry is as palpable as the mental image of John Candy's hand between two pillows that aren't pillows at all.
With the right balance of action, humor and "the touchy-feelies", director John Hughes' script literally jumps off the screen, creating a movie that holds up to repeat viewings..