Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.
The Classic: Home for the Holidays
Jodie Foster helmed this drama-comedy set at Thanksgiving, though the screwy antics of the lovably dysfunctional family might as well take place at Christmas. Home for the Holidays chronicles the All-American Larsen family, in particular unemployed sister Claudia (played by Holly Hunter) and her gay brother Tommy (Robert Downey, Jr, in one of his best performances). Together the pair plot to survive the holidays with their obssesive and crusty parents (Charles Durning & Anne Bancroft), and aging aunt (Geraldine Chaplin), whose mental deterioration wins some of the movie’s biggest laughs as well as its moving moments.
Home for the Holidays wasn’t a major success on release, though the movie proved very influential. It foreshadowed the later success of screwball holiday films from The Family Stone to Happiest Season. Foster proves herself a terrific director of actors, and Hunter & Downey have an irresistable chemistry as stressed out siblings. With a supporting cast that includes Claire Danes, Steve Guttenberg, Dylan McDermott and David Stratherin, we suggest giving a holiday watch. Much like holidays with real life family, these characters will drive you craze…and win your hearts.
Streams on Hulu, YouTube, Amazon & VUDU.
Perhaps it’s just me, but wtf did I just watch?
I always watch this on Thanksgiving. It’s one of my absolute favorite holiday movies.
Worst holiday movie I’ve ever seen. The gay characters are terribly represented and barely developed. Downey’s husband and him are shown on a 30 second phone call. That’s it.
Boring script. 99. 9 percent strait. How it got over a 7 on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond me.
Favorite Thanksgiving movie of all time!!! Especially love the fact that the gay characters are subtly interwoven into the general dysfunction of this cluster**** of a family, and are NOT made to stand out. In all honesty, the gay characters just might be most ‘normal’ and well adjusted of the lot. Brings back all the bittersweet memories of family holidays and trying to ‘just get through’. Brilliant performances from a stellar cast. I give it a perfect score, especially considering it is from 1995!
I love love love LOVE this movie! The ending when Charles Durning sings “The Very Thought of You” while driving Holly Hunter to the airport get me every time!
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