For a holiday that's all about celebrating your bounty in life, it's an ironic thing that the depictions of Turkey Day on film are so slim. But here are five Thanksgiving-themed DVDs to treat your family to once you've had your fill of pie and football:
5. Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Let's face it -- next to family, food, and football, the other thing Americans associate Thanksgiving with is hellish travel conditions. This classic comedy from the late John Hughes will at least make you feel better that no matter how much traffic you sat in on your way to get home for the holiday, your journey couldn't have been as horrible (or hilarious) as that of Steve Martin and John Candy.
4. Home for the Holidays: Holiday films about coping with your dysfunctional family are a dime a dozen. But when it comes to Thanksgiving films, Jodie Foster's directorial debut takes the cake (or in this case, pumpkin pie) for timeliness this year considering its protagonist, Claudia Larsen (Oscar winner Holly Hunter), is forced to contend with her wacky relatives only 24 hours after losing her job. But don't feel too bad for Claudia, because no Thanksgiving could be completely devoid of fun with Robert Downey Jr. at the dinner table.
3. The New World: It just might be the oldest love story in American history. English settler John Smith is desperate to help his people survive when he turns to the natives for assistance. He finds it in Pocahontas, daughter of the powerful cheif Powhatan, and the bond they form will set the course of early American history. The story has been told a thousand times, but Terrence Malick's beautifully shot, dialogue-lite epic really gives you a sense of both the wonders and dangers of the early days of colonial life, and the origins of this uniquely American holiday.
2. Hannah and Her Sisters: The women in this Woody Allen classic don't spend Thanksgiving slaving away in the kitchen -- they pass the holiday by getting involved in messy romantic entanglements with each other's husbands and boyfriends. It's the perfect holiday treat for anyone who loves a good, neurotic romantic comedy.
1. Friends: The Complete Series: For 10 years, we could count on the iconic sitcom of the '90s to save its best for their Turkey Day outing. Rooting through the massive DVD set, you'll find such Thanksgiving gems as "The One With Chandler in a Box," and the one where Jennifer Aniston's then-husband Brad Pitt showed up to get revenge on Rachel for bullying him in high school. Whether they were putting turkeys on their heads or engaging in hyper-competitive games of flag football, Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe always found a way to make their holiday episodes both wacky and touching. Family is great, but some people would rather just spend Thanksgiving with Friends.