The Greatest Thanksgiving Movie

The holiday season is chock full of themed movies. But if you look closely, the vast majority of the great ones center around Christmas. Home Alone - Christmas. The Santa Claus - Christmas. The Polar Express - Christmas. A Christmas Story - Christmas. Miracle on 34th Street - Christmas. Scrooged - Christmas. Elf - Christmas. Die Hard - Christmas. Die Hard 2 - Christmas! I could go on. But as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, it got me thinking: what's the greatest movie about Thanksgiving? The answer is simple: Scent of a Woman.

Let's break it down. At it's most basic level, Scent of a Woman is the story of two people on a road trip who start out as adversaries and end up as friends over the long Thanksgiving weekend. It's basically just one step away from being a classic buddy comedy. Where do they travel? New York City - home of the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And even though the parade makes no appearance in the film, location matters. One of the main characters is on break from school, which is something we can all remember fondly from our younger years. One of the main characters drinks alcohol like its water, which obviously reminds us of time spent with our own families (it's not just Christmas get-togethers that need some social lubrication). Need I say more? OK, I will.

Scent of a Woman also features one of the most true-to-life Thanksgiving dinner scenes ever filmed. Who among us hasn't been to a Thanksgiving where an extremely disliked family member shows up unannounced? How often does a drunk uncle dominate the dinner conversation while everyone else sits silently, rolling their eyes? And no holiday meal is complete without one family member physically assaulting another - that's just a universal fact. And the whole movie culminates in a thwarted suicide attempt and one last alcohol-influenced lecture. Plus there's a dance scene! It's pure cinematic gold!

Let's face it: Scent of a Woman is the great American Thanksgiving movie. You may argue for Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, but Al Pacino didn't win an Oscar for that film, and he's got my response for you right here.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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    © STEVE SCHULTZ