F.I.L.M. of the Week (November 19, 2010)

19 11 2010

Looking for a warm Thanksgiving-themed movie to watch while the turkey is in the oven?  Take a bite out of the delectable comedy “Pieces of April,” my timely pick for “F.I.L.M. of the Week.”  I watched the movie back in March because of Patricia Clarkson’s Oscar-nominated supporting role, but there’s so much more to love about the movie than her.  I’ve been an enthusiastic fan for quite some time now, and I held back posting about it until now, when the timing seems right.

Think about, we get a plethora of Christmas movies but no love for Thanksgiving?  By the time November rolls around, all the stores are already decorated to sell Christmas gear, XM Radio has already started their Christmas station again, and the retailers start to post their holiday sale information.  There’s so much to celebrate about Thanksgiving, one of the few holidays we have left that isn’t heavily commercialized.  So for all those who think that Thanksgiving is just the day before Black Friday, step away from the wallet and sit on the couch and watch “Pieces of April.”

Since Thanksgiving is a holiday about family, it makes sense that this a movie all about family, both the ones we are forced to be a part of and the ones we make ourselves.  April (Katie Holmes, pre-Tom and Suri madness) is the twenty-something rebel living in New York to maintain a distance from her dysfunctional family, but welcomes them to her tiny apartment for Thanksgiving dinner, potentially the last for her mother Joy (Clarkson), embittered by her breast cancer diagnosis.  The movie follows both sides as they think they have the hardest part of the deal: April actually attempting to cook a turkey and her family making the journey from suburbia.

Each encounter difficulties, with April’s oven breaking and Joy’s negativity forcing them to take some trite and unnecessary delays.  However, April finds that her cooking struggles force her to interact with her neighbors, with whom she had never associated before.  She finds that she can actually be friends with these people, and that’s what makes “Pieces of April” such a great movie for such a great holiday: it’s all about the relationships, both appreciating the ones you have and being open to making new ones.

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