In a very poor zone of New York, April Burns and her boyfriend, the Afro-American Bobby, are preparing to receive April's family for thanksgiving dinner. While Bobby tries to borrow a suit for himself, April realizes that her stove is broken. She tries desperately to find a neighbor that can let her cook the turkey, since she does not want to fail (again) with her family. Meanwhile, in a suburb of Pennsylvania, her dysfunctional family is preparing to travel to New York. While driving, the relationship between the Burns and their black-sheep April is disclosed through the conversations between her father Jim, her resented mother Joy, her brother, her sister and her grandmother. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
One of the inspirations for the movie came from a story Peter Hedges had heard about a group of young adults who had "borrowed" an apartment so they could celebrate their first Thanksgiving in Manhattan together. The oven in the apartment did not work so they had to go door to door in the building, trying to find an oven in which to cook their turkey. See more »
When Bobby goes out, April is shown with a bandage on her finger long before she actually cuts it. See more »
Man in Mohair Sweater:
You know it's funny; my mother was a mean woman, too. Nasty. There wasn't a nice bone in her body. She smoked non-stop, cheated at cards and she complained every day of her life. And you know what? There's nothing I wouldn't do for a chance to spend more time with her.
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Properties and furniture courtesy of Jack Marcus Brodsky & Family. See more »
"Once there was this one day where everybody seemed to know they needed each other. This one day when they knew for certain that they couldn't do it alone." (April, trying to explain the origins of Thanksgiving.) That ultimately is what this movie is about -- people needing people, and the inter-relationships of people. It's about April and her family, but it's also about April and Bobby, the Lee family, Eugene and Evette, and even Wayne, who needs somebody, but misses connecting once again. Jim needs Joy, Bobby needs Latrell, Joy needs her family, she and Timmy need the bikers, and it just goes on and on. We all need one another and touch one another, and those touches spread out and out. Beautiful.
I also loved all the little twists, such as the stiff, middle-aged mother chiding her teenage son about properly rolling a joint; and the puncturing of stereotypes and prejudices. When Bobby's waiting by the phone for Latrell, it's probably tempting to think he's doing a drug deal or some other unsavory activity. But I knew better; I was laughing well before it was revealed what they were up to. Magnificent.
Another one to add to the video library, and I'm going to have to check out more Peter Hedges (though I have seen Gilbert Grape).
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