In American cinema's big feast, there are slim pickings on the side dish of Thanksgiving comedy. We've found several features to recommend -- and they're funny all year 'round.
Bookended by Thanksgiving gatherings, Woody Allen's Oscar-winning screenplay tracks the intertwining loves, tribulations, and neuroses of New York siblings; meanwhile, hypochondriac Woody copes with a brain tumor and Christian conversion. Academy Awards to Dianne Wiest and Michael Caine, who join Mia Farrow, Max von Sydow, Barbara Hershey, and Carrie Fisher in this sophisticated gem.
Serious business guy Steve Martin is thrown together with crass oaf John Candy in a desperate cross-country dash to arrive home in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Slapstick and sentimentality combine to make writer-director John Hughes' road trip one worth taking. Martin's profanity rant and the slumber scene are high points. Michael McKean and Kevin Bacon also appear.
The dread family reunion forms the core of this Thanksgiving homecoming. Claudia (Holly Hunter) is glad to see her clan, but not eager to endure them. Director Jody Foster's humor is understated and generally dependent on viewer recognition, so mileage may vary. Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Robert Downing, Jr. and Claire Danes co-star.