My Three Favorite Thanksgiving Movies

Julianna Margulies and Kyra Sedgwick play a lesbian couple in "What's Cooking?"

I’ve come to consider these three movies a trilogy. If I break out one during the Thanksgiving weekend, I have to watch all three.

These aren’t inter-related movies, except that they share a Thanksgiving theme. Two of them have strong gay/lesbian subplots. All of them have funny, joyous moments. All of them are tender, too.

Pick these up to round out your holiday experience:

What’s Cooking?

In LA’s culturally diverse Fairfax district four households celebrate Thanksgiving amidst family tensions. In the Nguyen family, the children’s acculturation and immigrant parents’ fears collide. In the Avila family, Isabel’s son has invited her estranged husband to their family dinner. Audrey and Ron Williams want to keep their own family’s ruptures secret from Ron’s visiting mother. In the Seelig household, Herb and Ruth are unwilling to discuss openly their grown daughter’s living with her lover, Carla. Around each table, tensions erupt.

Julianna Margulies and Kyra Sedgwick play lesbian partners. (That got your attention, didn’t it?)

Note: There is a scene in this movie that makes me laugh out loud every single time I see it. If you think you know what it is, drop a comment on this post.

Home for the Holidays

Directed by Jodie Foster, this film features Holly Hunter, Robert Downey, Jr., and Ann Bancroft, among others. This is the story of Claudia Larsen’s miserable Thanksgiving holiday. She has just been laid off, has accidentally kissed her boss, and found out her teenage daughter plans to lose her virginity. Then she heads home to her parents’ house, only to find out that her brother has arrived without his long-time partner, bringing a handsome stranger instead. The entire family is a mess and Geraldine Chaplin plays a lovesick, demented aunt that is eerily reminiscent of one of my own, now-deceased, family members.

The gay theme revolves around Claudia’s brother and his partner.

Pieces of April

Featuring a young Katie Holmes, as April Burns, this story takes place in a rough New York neighborhood. April and her boyfriend, Bobby, have invited April’s family for a thanksgiving dinner. While Bobby tries to borrow a suit to wear, April realizes that her stove is broken and she tries desperately to find a neighbor that can let her cook the turkey. Meanwhile, in a suburb of Pennsylvania, her dysfunctional family is preparing to travel to New York. While driving in the road, the relationship between the Burns and the black-sheep April is disclosed through the family’s conversations.

Katie’s mother is played by Patricia Clarkson, who has the sexiest speaking voice in the entertainment industry.

My infatuation with Clarkson withstanding, the underlying gay theme in this movie revolves around Katie’s real-life husband. (Wink.)


2 responses to “My Three Favorite Thanksgiving Movies

  1. I LOVE Pieces of April and Home for the Holidays, so now I’m excited to check out What’s Cooking. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving over here, but those three are in my favorites list for sure (especially ‘What’s Cooking’ – I’m a sucker for Julianna Margulies!).

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