Sunlit Water

November 28, 2006

Confusing Title, Too

Filed under: Culture — by teofilo @ 7:58 pm

One of the main things my family does when we get together is watch movies.  I don’t particularly care about watching movies in general, so the main time I see any is when I’m with my family.  As I mentioned before, this Thanksgiving break was a period of intense movie-watching.

Most of the movies were provided by my aunt, but my mom brought one from home: Pieces of April.  I had only vaguely heard of it and didn’t know anything about it, but she had seen it and loved it so much that she bought the DVD (something she very rarely does).  It’s about a young woman, played by Katie Holmes, who is estranged from her bourgeois suburban family and living in New York but for some reason (never really explained) has invited them over for Thanksgiving dinner despite the fact that she doesn’t know how to cook.  The movie cuts back and forth between scenes of her desperately trying to put the meal together with the help of her neighbors and scenes of the family driving up to the city and arguing over whether or not they should really go.  The mom has (apparently very advanced) breast cancer, which is probably meant to be the impetus for the whole thing.

I thought it was an okay movie.  Not bad, but not one of the best I’ve seen.  Katie Holmes did an adequate job as a young urbanite, but I never really got a sense of what her character was really like as a person.  The other characters were more fleshed-out, particularly the mother, who was probably the most interesting character.  As a whole, not a bad film and I’m glad I saw it, but I don’t have much interest in seeing it again.

I think there are several reasons my mom liked it so much.  Leaving aside the cancer angle, which I’m not sure what to do with, there’s first of all the fact that it’s a Thanksgiving movie.  Thanksgiving is my mom’s favorite holiday, and there are really very few movies about it, so I imagine she likes the fact that someone thought to make one in the first place.  Also, our verdict on the movie was “edgy but heartwarming,” which largely sums up a lot of things she likes.  She’s fine with gritty realism, but not a fan of bleakness.  Family dynamics also interest her a lot, and this movie was full of them.

I’m glad we watched it.  Not so much for its own sake, although it wasn’t bad, but more because it obviously made my mom so happy.  It’s not the sort of thing I’d rent on my own, though.  I don’t think it’s enough to my taste to hold up well to a second watching.



  1. The only Thanksgiving movie I can think of is Home for the Holidays. Really funny. My mom liked it. It was tough for comedies to please her, but she liked realistic family conflict.

    Comment by ~Macarena~ — November 28, 2006 @ 9:36 pm |Reply

  2. I looked on imdb and apparently about 1600 movies have “Christmas” in the title, while 2 have “Thanksgiving.”

    Comment by ac — November 28, 2006 @ 11:42 pm |Reply

  3. The first Simpsons Thanksgiving episode – there may have been another, I can’t remember – is probably my favorite Simpsons holiday episode.

    Comment by eb — November 29, 2006 @ 1:55 am |Reply

  4. The one where Bart wrecks the centerpiece? I love Lisa’s Howl take-off in that one.

    Comment by Matt F — November 29, 2006 @ 2:30 am |Reply

  5. That’s the one.

    Comment by eb — November 29, 2006 @ 3:02 am |Reply

  6. Hey Teo, have you given any thought to watching “For Your Consideration”? I think you would like it. Your mom, too.

    Comment by The Modesto Kid — November 29, 2006 @ 9:15 am |Reply

  7. I could easily develop a SCMTesque non-creepy blog crush on your mom, Teo.

    Comment by Becks — November 29, 2006 @ 9:38 am |Reply

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