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The Globe and Mail

What ever happened to the Thanksgiving movie?

What's your favourite Thanksgiving movie? Give it a minute … odds are, the film on the tip of your tongue is a Christmas one. As the shopping-centric holiday season creeps ever earlier on the calendar, one of the quiet casualties has been the Thanksgiving movie.

The (non-animated) classics that do invoke turkey and goodwill – minus the mistletoe – are telling: Woody Allen explores the usual relationship issues in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986); Steve Martin and John Candy do the buddy thing in Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987); Jodie Foster's directorial debut Home for the Holidays (1995) centres on a story of familial angst around the holiday; Ang Lee's The Ice Storm (1997) invokes Thanksgiving, though is ostensibly set in 1973.

The point being: Not one Thanksgiving film has been produced in more than a decade that any self-respecting family would gather 'round and watch while falling into a post-dinner coma. (And let's forget 2003's Pieces of April, starring a pre-TomKat Katie Holmes, ever happened.)

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Of course, these are all Hollywood films celebrating America's seemingly fading fascination with its November version of the holiday. The closest we Canadians get to our own Thanksgiving fare is Candy's role in Planes. But, then, John Candy is always worth giving thanks for.

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