Home for the Holidays (1995)
Holly Hunter plays the woman who returns home for thanksgiving with the family, a yearly ritual loathed by everyone involved. So why keep doing it? It's tradition, it's family, and because we have to.
"I'm giving thanks that we don't have to go through this for another year. Except we do, because those bastards went and put Christmas right in the middle, just to punish us."
This is a christmas film for me. Yes, I know, technically it takes place during thanksgiving, but the trials and tribulations of this particular family will be familiar to anyone, regardless of the holiday. We've all been at one of those family gatherings full of stories you've heard a thousand times before, plus some new ones you wish you hadn't heard.
This film brilliantly captures a family who has been through this ritual many times before, and seems to have reached a breaking point. It mixes tragedy and comedy to create a perfect experience, which is both funny as hell, and surprisingly poignant, sometimes in the same sentence. Quite a feat. It's tragic and heartbreaking, weird and wonderful, with more truth in one scene than you can find in all the holy books in the whole world.
Never forget to love it. At a distance. The family, I mean.