Check out these books and movies that have the Thanksgiving holiday at their core.
Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo
An unlucky man in a deadbeat town in upstate New York, Sully must overcome numerous obstacles–a bum knee, terminal underemployment, and a not-too-helpful group of friends–as he copes with a new problem, his long-estranged son.
Weight of Winterby Cathie Pelletier
Dreaming of the history of the Maine town of Mattagash, a 110-year-old woman relives her own life and runs through the history of the town’s assorted residents, beginning with the season’s first snowfall and ending at Thanksgiving.
Cloud Nine by Luanne Rice
Having reopened her bedding shop, Cloud Nine, after recovering from a serious illness, Sarah Talbot rediscovers love when she meets former navy pilot Will Burke aboard a chartered flight while observing the autumn leaves of upstate New York on her way home for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote
Autobiographical story of a boy who recalls his life with an elderly relative in rural Alabama in the 1930s and the lesson she taught him one Thanksgiving Day about dealing with a bully from school.
Pieces of April. (2003) This is a great little film. In its own way, it highlights the trials and tribulations of holiday gatherings, from trying to make a good impression on your Significant Other’s parents, to making your first big dinner as a young adult. Family outcast April lives in a beat-up apartment in New York’s Lower East Side with her boyfriend, Bobby. In order to spend some time with her dying mother, April invites her conservative suburban family to her place for a Thanksgiving feast. While she frantically tries to complete the meal, the family drives in from Pennsylvania sharing less-than-pleasant opinions about April’s lifestyle. Patricia Clarkson, who plays April’s mother, received an Oscar nomination for this role.
Hannah and her sisters.(1986) One of Woody Allen’s top 10 films, the story is book-ended by Thanksgiving dinners and is a nice remembrance of the Woody and Mia Farrow collaborations. It’s an intimate look at three women and the relationships they have with each other and the men in their lives. Michael Caine received an Oscar for his role as one of the husbands.
Home for the holidays. (1995) A seriously underrated movie directed by Jodie Foster with terrific performances by Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, and a Polaroid-snapping Robert Downey Jr. Claudia Larson is a divorced single mom who just lost her job and now has to fly home for the traditional family Thanksgiving in Baltimore. From the plane, she calls for reinforcements–and her brother Tommy makes it down from Boston with a little surprise: a handsome friend named Leo. Between dropping the turkey in their sister’s lap and a few fist fights on the front lawn, Claudia and Tommy recapture their childhood and Claudia and Leo explore the sweet possibility of romance.
Planes, trains, and automobiles. (1987) An uptight businessman (Steve Martin) faces disaster after disaster as he tries to get back home in time for his family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and along the way is joined by an insane traveling salesman (John Candy) that will not leave him alone.
Nobody’s fool.. (1994) Most movies that use Thanksgiving to set up introspective family drama follow a pretty basic formula, and ‘Nobody’s Fool’ doesn’t deviate much from that standard. It does, however, star Paul Newman and feature scenes of him bantering with everyone from Bruce Willis to Jessica Tandy to Philip Seymour Hoffman to Melanie Griffith, making it easily the coolest of the bunch.