by Paullette Gaudet

thanksgiving_2_blogThanksgiving  provides a yearly opportunity to gauge the healing progress of childhood slights (mmmm....not quite there yet), note the recession rate of relatives' hairlines, and openly enjoy a holiday movie marathon paired with wine. While at this time of year it often feels like some things never change, a decade-by decade breakdown of Thanksgiving-themed films proves otherwise:

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987):  Operating on several levels at once (slapstick, character study, road-and-buddy-movie-from-hell), this classic holiday comedy provides familiar, relatable travel nightmares and personality stereotypes but adds the surprise of unexpected poignancy. Prepare for sudden bursts of laughter by watching this film with a wine meant to be sipped appreciatively, like this month's Alma Andina Malbec Reserve 2014 from Mendoza, Argentina.

Home For The Holidays (1995): Masterfully directed by Jodie Foster, this film features Robert Downey Jr and Holly Hunter as siblings whose adult problems are gradually subsumed by the decades-old familial roles each fall into at Thanksgiving time, along with their parents and extended family. The film is sweet, uncomfortable and true, with a thin veneer of joy—just like most holiday visits home. Keep the mood buoyant with the crisp zestiness of our Saracosa 2014 Vermentino di Toscana IGT, hailing from Italy.

What's Cooking? (2003): It's easy (and perhaps cathartic) to mine humor from the often rampant familial conflict at Thanksgiving, but sometimes it's refreshing to focus on why we make the effort to get together in the first place. Director Gurinder Chadha weaves together the separate stories of four families (African-American, Vietnamese, Latino, and Jewish) celebrating Thanksgiving with both turkey and their own traditional dishes, while trying to bridge the growing cultural and generation gaps between family members. A film espousing peaceful family relations deserves to be viewed while drinking a smooth, palate-pleasing Spanish red like our choice this month, Pagos de Tahola Reserva 2008 Rioja DOCa.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving films? Let us know in the comments!