Thanksgiving may not be as big as Christmas as far as commercialization goes, but it’s still worthy of its fair share of cinematic adaptations, isn’t it?
Yes, there are some Thanksgiving comedies. At least a small handful. Last year, there was a film that came out highlighting the increasingly popular idea of Friendsgiving, for those who can’t or more realistically don’t want to go home for the holiday. And there’s of course the cream of the crop, naturally, that would have to be Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. A more perfect Thanksgiving film you will not find. There’s also those that briefly features the holiday in passing as a mere plot device. But the question remains: What do we have to do to get another Thanksgiving comedy?
The key ingredient to comedy is conflict. And come on, what’s more conflicting that being locked in a room with family? Your stressed out mother. Your father who is more interested in football. Your grandmother telling you about her operation. Your one uncle who falls asleep for most of the day on your couch, while your other uncle won’t stop talking politics with anyone who will engage him. If that’s not conflict ripe for the picking, we don’t know what is!
The answer to why there aren’t more isn’t so clear cut. But if we had to give it our best guess, it would have to boil down to financial decisions. Let’s face it. Christmas is a proven commodity. Film studios can bank on it at this point, as it’s been proven time and time again to be a place of interest with audiences. They have hundreds of Christmas-related songs to point to. How many Thanksgiving songs are there? None to our knowledge. Nobody has giant turkeys in their yards. So when it comes to marketing and commercialism and a bunch of guys in suits sitting in a room trying to decide which holiday is “sexier,” Christmas is almost always going to win. Even Thanksgiving’s annual big event, the Macy’s Parade, ends with Santa Claus knocking the holiday out of its way every year and declaring the official start of Christmas, all before your family gathers around the table for turkey and yams.
We do hope that another John Hughes type can come along and see the appeal in doing a film about the red-headed step child of the holiday season. There’s some great comedy fodder to be had. It’s just waiting for Hollywood to finally take notice and give it another go.