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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Why aren’t there more movies about Thanksgiving?

Sure, there are a big handful of films that take place in part around Thanksgiving, but I can think of only three (and one of them is a stretch) that are really about the holiday: Home for the Holidays and Pieces of April, both of which revolve around the family dinner, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which is really about the craziness in getting home for the dinner… but since Thanksgiving traveling is especially notoriously hellish, I’ll count that one.

But that’s it.
It’s an exclusively North American holiday — and it doesn’t even occur in the same month both Canada and the U.S. — so maybe that explains why there are so few movies about Thanksgiving: limited interest from overseas audiences. But that only applies to the big Hollywood productions. You’d think it’d be the perfect setting for a low-budget indie — indeed, that applies to April, at least — so why don’t we see more exploration of the family dynamic centered around this holiday, which is ideal for telling that kind of story?

I find it very odd.

What do you think? Why aren’t there more movies about Thanksgiving?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • chuck
  • JoshDM
  • Kevin
  • Cathy

    There’s “What’s Cooking?” from Gurinder Chadha: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0197096/

    I think Thanksgiving often gets overshadowed by Christmas, which also has the homely/family thing going on. Studios obviously don’t have a problem putting out Christmas movies in November and like MaryAnn said, Christmas has a more international appeal.

    Thinking back, I don’t really have any distinct memories associated with past Thanksgivings but I have a lot from past Christmases. Maybe the same thing is true for a lot of writers. And Thanksgiving is just one day, while Christmas is a whole season.

  • doa766

    it’s for the same reason that aren’t many movies about baseball or the civil war anymore

    it’s a US only thing and on average about 60% of the money movies make come from other countries

  • JoshB

    I think Cathy nailed it. Christmas is an 800 lbs. gorilla that picks its teeth with Thanksgiving.

  • LaSargenta

    lol @ JoshB

    PS: Canada has a thanksgiving, too.

  • Jerry colvin

    Hannah and Her Sisters starts and ends at Thanksgiving and has another in the middle. I’ve been watching it every Thanksgiving night (by myself, sometimes very late) for two decades now.

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