10 Thanksgiving Movies to Watch if You're Sick of Football - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

10 Thanksgiving Movies to Watch if You're Sick of Football


There's a Thanksgiving movie for everyone.

Whether you like comedies or tear-jerkers, these movies will provide a welcome respite from all the cooking, eating or football-watching this holiday. Even better, the families in some of these films will make you grateful for your own.

Here are 10 Thanksgiving films to watch:

'Plane, Trains and Automobiles'

Any person who's ever traveled over the Thanksgiving holiday can relate to this 1987 John Hughes film starring Steve Martin and John Candy. Martin plays a tightly-wound executive eager to get home to Chicago from New York City in time for Thanksgiving with his family. When his plane is diverted to Wichita, Kansas, by a winter storm, he joins forces with Candy, who plays an effusive and clumsy salesman. Their three-day ordeal to get to Chicago will have you laughing out loud.

'Pieces of April'

Thanksgiving seems to bring out the dysfunction in family, as "Pieces of April" quickly makes clear. In this 2003 indie film, Katie Holmes stars as April, a young woman living in a small New York City apartment with her boyfriend. She puts aside childhood resentments to invite her estranged family over for what may be her mother's last Thanksgiving. Hilarity and hijinks ensue during the family's trek to NYC and April's efforts to prepare the meal despite a broken oven.

'Home for the Holidays'

Holly Hunter plays a single mom who has just been fired from her job before making the trip east for Thanksgiving with her disapproving family. She soon realizes that her own problems are nothing compared to her dysfunctional family's. The 1995 film directed by Jodie Foster also stars Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott and a young Claire Danes.

'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving'

This animated classic has been an annual favorite since it first aired in 1973. If you miss it on ABC the day before Thanksgiving, you can always find it on video or the internet.

'Hannah and Her Sisters'

One of Woody Allen's biggest hits and the winner of three Academy Awards, "Hannah and Her Sisters" starred his ex Mia Farrow as Hannah and Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest as her sisters. The film tells the intertwined stories of the three sisters over three Thanksgivings. Interesting note: some of the Thanksgiving extras were played by Farrow's children, including Soon-Yi Previn, who would later marry Allen.

'The Ice Storm'

Set over Thanksgiving weekend, "The Ice Storm" takes you back to the swinging '70s with its focus on two upper-class families in the Connecticut suburbs who try to escape their hum-drum lives through sex and alcohol. The 1997 film stars Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen, Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood. Look for Katie Holmes in a bit part.

Hallmark and holidays go together, and this Hallmark TV movie, based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott and starring Jacqueline Bisset and Helene Joy, did well when it first aired in 2008. Tatiana Maslany of "Orphan Black" fame stars as oldest daughter Tilly, who writes to her wealthy and estranged grandmother (Bisset) when her widowed mother (Joy) hits hard times on their farm.

'What's Cooking'

Gurinder Chadha, the writer/director behind "Bend It Like Beckham," turned her lens to Thanksgiving in this 2000 comedy-drama that focuses on four diverse families who gather for the annual meal. Each family celebrates in their own unique way and deals with their own set of problems. The film stars Mercedes Ruehl, Kyra Sedgwick, Joan Chen, Julianna Margulies and Alfre Woodard.

'Free Birds'

Widely panned by critics, this 2013 animated film about turkeys who travel back in time to stop Thanksgiving might just fly with the family. Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler lend their voices to the film.

'Scent of a Woman'

Al Pacino won his only Oscar for this 1992 film in which he plays a blind, short-tempered retired Army officer who hires a prep student (Chris O'Donnell in a breakthrough role) to be his assistant over the Thanksgiving weekend. Their meeting turns out to be lifesaving for both. The film also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Gabrielle Anwar.

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