Thanksgiving wouldn't quite be a holiday without its traditions: the turkey, family coming together, football, the Thanksgiving Day parade.
But one of the traditions I enjoy the most with my family happens after all the normal Turkey Day traditions are finished: watching movies.
There are plenty of Thanksgiving-themed movies out there. But usually I prefer the movies that are just about family and sticking together, which is what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about anyway. Dramas or comedies are a must because they provide the perfect antidote to the food-induced coma I always seem to bring upon myself.
The following are my top five Thanksgiving movies (Note: Some of these movies are probably not for kids, but they have great messages. Many are often shown on TV nowadays, however, so I would recommend those versions for a family gathering.):
5. Pride: Based on the true life events of a Philadelphia teacher who gets a group of black kids interested in swimming and then coaches them to victory. Throughout the process, the characters have to overcome racism and learn camaraderie. This is also one of the last films starring the talented Bernie Mac.
4. Big Momma's House: In the black community, most families have a matriarch—usually the grandmother—who plays a key role in keeping the family together. That matriarch figure is often referred to as Big Momma or some variation of the word. If you know anything about Martin Lawrence, then you know that, when he gets into character, laughter will follow.
3. Remember the Titans: Denzel Washington plays a black coach who takes over a high school football team and is charged with leading the team through its first season as an integrated unit. A lot of memorable moments ("We are the Titans (We are the Titans)/ the mighty, mighty Titans (the mighty, mighty Titans...").
2. Soul Food: For anyone who isn't familiar with soul food, it's traditional food in the black community that literally was created from the struggles and triumphs of African Americans in this country (i.e. collard greens, candied yams, sweet potato pie, etc.). This movie basically shows you why food is so important to family and vice versa. (Watch the TV version with the kids.)
1. KOFY's Dance Party: This isn't a movie, but somehow my family and I stumbled upon this Bay Area-produced Soul Train-inspired show a couple holidays ago and we were instantly hooked. We laughed so hard and for so long that it felt like we were watching a movie. That is why it's at the top of my list. If you ever appeared on Dance Party, I apologize in advance.
As a bonus, here are the top 10 movies most rented on Netflix in San Bruno, as of 2009, according to the New York Times:
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Slumdog Millionaire
- Seven Pounds
- Gran Torino
- The Wrestler
- Body of Lies