Thanksgiving Films You Forgot: 'Home For The Holidays'

Thanksgiving Films You Forgot: 'Home For The Holidays'

Let's watch a film about Thanksgiving for once.

Every year the holiday seasons roll around, and with each season you see celebrations of films centered on the holidays. Halloween has the entire horror genre to look at, Christmas has hundreds of films dating back to the beginning of film history, and Valentine’s Day has any film with a romantic subplot (which is just about any film ever made). There are two holidays that often get left out of this fun, though. When was the last time you heard someone talk about a Thanksgiving or New Year’s film? I want to fix that. That’s why this November, each week I’ll be watching and writing about a different film set around Thanksgiving. To start off, I’m going to talk about "Home for the Holidays," a strange little romantic comedy directed by Jodie Foster.

"Home for the Holidays" is a weird film. It starts with a close-up montage of Claudia, our protagonist, painting with egg yolk on a very large canvas. After this montage, we watch her as she goes back to her boss’s office, walking in a trance-like state until she sinks into one of his chairs. He then fires her, and in the process of being comforted by him, Claudia makes out with him before rushing away embarrassed. She then is driven to the airport by her 18-year-old daughter Kitt who informs her that she won’t be attending her family’s Thanksgiving dinner, preferring instead to join her boyfriend at his parents’ house. She also tells Claudia in very clear terms that she’s going to have sex with her boyfriend while she’s there.

That all happens in the first five minutes, and it gets stranger from there. Claudia’s uncomfortable flight is followed by an uncomfortable drive home with her parents, and once she gets home, she and her mother have a surreal conversation about children thinking their mother is crazy, which happens as Claudia’s mother undresses for bed. The very next morning, their entire family is woken up by Claudia’s brother Tommy, who we first see sneaking around their house with a set of spy goggles and a Polaroid camera. We also see that Tommy has a habit of taking intrusive pictures of his sister, at first ripping off the covers of her bed to snap a photo of her underwear, and later taking a picture of her as she showers.

The strange behaviors escalate with the introduction of the rest of the family attending Thanksgiving dinner, with each new member having a number of strange quirks that seem like they might be a little less than socially acceptable, and all of the strange behavior comes to a head at the actual Thanksgiving dinner, where each individual's quirk is escalated to the point of insanity and played off the others' wonderfully in what is clearly the best scene in the film. And the high level of insanity only lowers slightly after the dinner, with to Tommy getting into a fight with his brother-in-law over a game of football. It all blends together beautifully, with each and every quirk and escalation feeling surreal and believable at the same time.

Unfortunately, the film falls apart after the Thanksgiving dinner, losing most of the tension and development of the characters that had been established before. It attempts to shift its focus away from the family relationships in favor of a romantic subplot between Claudia and Leo, Tommy’s friend that she met that morning. Their romance is contrived as hell, and none of their interactions feel natural, despite their relatively solid chemistry. The film also attempts to provide closure on a conflict between Claudia and her sister, but because of its focus on the romance, it doesn’t have the time to commit to reconciling their differences or giving a failed reconciliation actual depth and meaning.

That, of course, could be the point, and it’d certainly be an interesting point to make, but the final scene of the film has Claudia and Leo flying back to Chicago together, with Leo telling Claudia that it doesn’t matter if they never see each other again, since they’ll still have the time they spent together. That being the film’s final statement makes it clear that Foster wants us to see the focus on romance as her showing us the one thing that will make Claudia the most happy. But, while I’m willing to buy that the romance is what will make Claudia the happiest in that moment, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if she’d spent that time focusing on her relationship with her sister, because even if she was unable to change anything, it would’ve been far more interesting for us if we had seen her try, instead of spend all her time focusing on a man she’s known for less than 24 hours.

Cover Image Credit: Home for the Holidays, Paramount Pictures

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"


This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.


Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.


Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.


You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.


Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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