Thanksgiving is upon us next week (scary, I know). For many, this will mean trips home to see family, complete with all its trimmings: old grudges, new loves, and enough food to power a small army. This holiday is often overlooked in favor of those Christmas people that have to run screaming to decorate as the clock strikes midnight on November 1. Not always, though: in 1995, Thanksgiving got its chance in the spotlight with Home For The Holidays, a Holly Hunter/Robert Downey Jr. vehicle. Here are five reasons to watch it this weekend.
#1 – The pedigree
Jodie Foster directed this film, which is saying something. The woman does not suck, I’ll put it that way. This film is no different. Adding to it? It was penned by W.D. Richter. Sound familiar? He’s the same guy that wrote Big Trouble in Little China, Buckaroo Bonzai, Slither, Brubaker, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Shut up and take my money, Richter.
#2 – The greeting from the cat
Shout out to my sister: this is her favorite part of the whole film. Ever have a moment where you’re not looking forward to something and the family pet just completely sums up how you feel? That’s this moment. It nails a reluctant holiday spent with family. Sometimes, it takes a cat to just get you.
#3 – Insufferable family
We all have one. That one family member. You know exactly who I’m talking about: the nosy one that has opinions about everyone and everything except for his or her own personal mess. It’s that one person that has to make a snarky comment about your haircut while ignoring their demon spawn’s atrocious behavior. Why would anyone want to watch this? Because misery loves company. We can bond over that one asshole in our family. And there is no mistaking who that asshole is in this film.
#4 –The need for order at the holidays
Another hallmark of the Thanksgiving holiday: we keep trying to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. I don’t know why there’s this insane need to have perfect stuffing or a Martha Stewart-worthy table, but damned if people don’t aim for that goal every year. It’s fascinating to watch. Or horrifying. Take your pick. Either way, it’s fun when it happens to someone else. And it’s something you can log in the back of your head as you’re trying to survive your own picture-perfect holiday.
#5 – There’s an argument
This is the trope of any holiday movie: the big fight. It’s expected. This doesn’t disappoint. Where it differs, though, is the resolution approach. I won’t spoil this. It’s good to watch and meditate upon.
I don’t care where you find this – just find it, crack open the good whiskey, and have a laugh. It’s worth it.