I very nearly turned this Thursday Theater article into a list of 10 Thanksgiving movies for you to check out, but after some deliberation I realized that I could only cobble together 3 movies that were both actually relevant to the holiday and passable enough to recommend (if you’re curious, the other 2 movies are the movie version of Alice’s Restaurant and By the Light of the Silvery Moon).
In truth, I probably should have seen this coming, since there are fewer than 10 Christmas movies which meet both criteria for me. So, instead, I’m cutting out the passable or kitsch options and focusing on recommending the one movie which I feel deserves to be associated with the holiday in perpetuity: John Hughes’ Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
In between the wild successes of, beforehand, his brat pack films and Ferris Bueller and, afterward, the first two Home Alone films, one of John Hughes’ directorial projects was an odd-couple travel movie called Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The movie, like most great family films, would be an exercise in didactic moralizing if not for the sincerity of its presentation and the humility of its execution. As such, I think watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles could stand alongside listening to Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” as one of the few worthwhile contemporary additions to the Thanksgiving tradition schema.
A Thanksgiving Given: