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The Ultimate Movie Guide for Surviving Thanksgiving

While many of us excitedly await the delicious tastes of Thanksgiving, it’s hard to get through the day (or week) unscathed by holiday drama. With everyone brought together, it’s hard to avoid political arguments, questions about your personal life, and unwanted advice from your Aunt Leslie* (names have been changed to protect the guilty). Thanksgiving is arguably the most emotional of all of the holidays, but luckily Boomfest is here to help you handle all of your feels with our very official Ultimate Movie Guide for Surviving Thanksgiving.

To use the guide, all you have to do is find your holiday dilemma in bold type. There you will find the perfect film to save your day.


Dilemma: You Get Stuck Babysitting Your Younger Cousins.

Movie Cure: Hotel Transylvania 2


Sure, you should probably spend some time playing with them, but you’re exhausted and this holiday is probably the first real break you’ve had since summer. If you just can’t muster some energy and need to tune out for a bit, I suggest putting on Hotel Transylvania 2 (it’s on Netflix, y’all). While this movie has a questionable plot line considering it’s for children (why is she already getting married and having a baby??), this film has some kind of subliminal messaging that hypnotizes kids into shutting the hell up. I don’t know why they get so sucked in, but you will finally have the peace you deserve. Seriously, it’s like a tranquilizer dart to their precious juice-stained faces.


Dilemma: Your racist uncle explains all of the problems currently plaguing America. Again.

Movie Cure: The Hunger Games


Simultaneously a reminder that things could be worse and that there’s a reason to stand up for what’s right, The Hunger Games can be the perfect catharsis for those inevitable Thanksgiving conversations. Watch as Katniss overcomes a corrupt system and triggers a revolution whilst also feeling grateful that, regardless of whatever else happened, you still had a better dinner than the people in District 12. I’m not saying that the mood over at the pie table will be tense, I’m just saying that considering recent current events, all signs point to some holiday turbulence. Maybe stress eating is not the answer; besides, movies have fewer carbs.


Dilemma: You’re bummed because your family isn’t close (or they’re too close and driving you crazy).

Movie Cure: Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone


Basically any of the Harry Potter movies will work, but the first year at Hogwarts is the best to help you through Thanksgiving because it’s the first time that Harry is rescued from his abusive family, and it’s also when Harry starts to realize that family is more than biology. As Harry builds a new family for himself at Hogwarts, you can remind yourself of the family that you chose for yourself (or that you will choose moving forward). At the very least, you can remind yourself that getting yelled at by your sister for eating too many of the marshmallows that you were supposed to be putting on the sweet potatoes is not the worst thing that ever happened to anyone.


Dilemma: You’re overwhelmed with your to-do list and social expectations.

Movie Cure: The Wedding Singer


With its fun 80’s tunes, quirky humor, and adorable love story, The Wedding Singer is a comedy that is safe to watch around your family, and let’s be honest, they’re the reason you needed this movie in the first place. Because the ending is also full of warm fuzzies, it’s almost like a holiday compromise: you get to laugh, but you also feel like hugging your grandparents at the end. After all, they did grow old together.


Dilemma: You ate too much, and now you can literally feel yourself wobble. (If you eat a fifteen pound turkey by yourself, will you weigh fifteen pounds more?)

Movie Cure: Shrek 1 or 2


Sure, you ate a whole pie by yourself, but you are still lovely on the inside. (At least you are figuratively; literally your insides are being wrecked by two pounds of pie.) If you find yourself feeling like a glutton, Shrek 1 or 2 will remind you that you’re awesome and should just enjoy your life. Be yourself, even if the real you only ate dessert this Thanksgiving.


Dilemma: Your fancy cousin makes you feel shitty about your life, or your grandma keeps asking if you’re still a single intern.

Movie Cure: Legally Blonde


Legally Blonde is my go-to movie for times when people make me feel like I’m failing on some level. Watching Elle Woods rise above the expectations others have set for her makes me remember that I can kick ass, too. If you have someone in your life who shows up to Thanksgiving looking to show boat or put you on the spot about the lack of developments in your life, remember that they have their problems, too. Maybe they spend more time than they’d like getting coffee for their boss. Maybe their fiancĂ©e is a cad. Maybe they’re a crap-face who can’t even do his own laundry. (Maybe they’re just a crap-face…) Besides, situations are temporary, and you could be on top tomorrow (just like a certain blonde optimist).


Dilemma: You start feeling bummed that your holiday is nearly over.

Movie Cure: Home Alone (#1 only)


I know this film is super old, but it’s still fun after all of these years. It’s hard to feel sad about the turkey being gone when you have this awesome reminder that Christmas is right around the corner. Of all of the Christmas films I could recommend, Home Alone is the best because it will also help you work through your newfound desire to be rid of your family after having to watch your aunt and uncle fight over how to carve a turkey. (Hint: No one cares how you do it. People just want the turkey. End the madness.) I must caution you to only watch #1; otherwise you may find yourself in the need of this list again.