Its that magical time of year again, where we go from sweating to freezing in a two-week span. That can only mean two things: family implosions and hanging in the den, huddling around the moving pictures box while the tryptophan works its black magic.
The absolute last thing you want is for politics to come up while you are miserably full, so to keep Uncle Ted from getting stabbed, I’ll be presenting you with a duo of lesser known Thanksgiving titles that might just keep your holiday 9-1-1 free.
The lighter side of things or family friendly, I got you covered with Pauly Shore’s Son-In-Law.
The film begins with its focus on Rebecca, an innocent "farmer's daughter" who graduates at the top of her high school class, then travels to a Los Angeles college, where she is the fish out of water. But the film soon shifts its emphasis to Crawl, a career college student (in his sixth year) who takes her under his wing to integrate her into the wild-eyed lifestyle of co-ed dorms.
Then, at Thanksgiving, she invites Shore to join her family for the holiday. Naturally, they are shocked by both the change in their daughter and the weirdo she has brought home. Eventually, Rebecca's old boyfriend proposes and she is in a tizzy because she really doesn't want to marry him. So, instead of doing something as logical as having her say no, Crawl pretends to be her fiance.
With an unexpected future son-in-law on their hands, the Wagners begin the process of teaching him about life on the farm. With farm hand Theo as his main instructor, hilarity soon ensues as Crawl and chores don't exactly mix. He stays with it, nonetheless, and slowly begins earning the respect of the family, while at the same time imparting his wisdom onto them.
Travis turns out to be a real scumbag, as with Theo's help, he executes a scheme to put Crawl in a compromising position with Tracy, another girl that Travis is involved with. This bit of dirty, low down behavior is the only thing that spoils the lighthearted tone of the film, but fortunately, the situation is quickly resolved. The film ends in an actually believable manner.
Now, for the dark meat, a film that ushers in family drama that engulfs most houses during November, The House of Yes.
The House of Yes is a big and opulent mansion in an unspecified Washington, D.C. suburb. On the day of John F. Kennedy's assassination, Mr. Pascal, the head of the household, suddenly disappeared, leaving behind his weird family.
Twenty years later, the family has become much weirder. Younger brother Anthony dropped out of a "very prestigious school" for an unknown-to-him reason and spends days doing he-knows-not-what. Older brother Marty desperately attempts to escape from the smothering influence of the family and goes to study in New York. His sister is recently back from the mental hospital and answers to the name Jackie O. Mrs. Pascal takes care of her daughter, which mostly involves making sure Jackie O doesn't get her hands on the kitchen knives.
Then Marty comes back home for Thanksgiving, bringing his fiancee Lesly, and all hell breaks loose. With a cast consisting of Parker Posey, Tori Spelling, and Freddie Prinze Jr, with them being directed by Mark Waters, whom hadn’t yet helmed Mean Girls or 500 Days of Summer, this mess somehow works perfectly ensembled together. The only family this dysfunctional that doesn’t happen to be cannibals are the Tenenbaums. Speaking of which, I always wanted to be a Tenenbaum. Happy Thanksgiving!
Find Tim Bynum online at thefilmsnob.reviews and on Instagram & Facebook: @the_filmsnob.