The holidays are a joyous time, but can tend to be even more stressful than manageable. I put together a list of what these times are really about: appreciating the family you have, revisiting and reflecting on the places you grew up, and food… lots and lots of food. Watch these in your childhood bedroom when the whole family is tucked away, with your high school best friends you haven’t seen since summer, or better yet with the whole family after you are all lazily stuffed up on the couch. Without further ado, enjoy!
Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
Growing up with a single father who burned me every time he curled my hair wasn’t exactly ideal in terms of a blossoming relationship with a sentimental foundation. Communication didn’t come naturally, but we found what worked for us: film. No matter what, when dad got home we found ourselves in front of a screen watching anything and everything from Smallville to Matilda (he was flexible). Eat Drink Man Woman delves deep into the Sunday night dinners between a chef and his three daughters. As each daughter is engulfed with romantic changes and life altering decisions, their single father makes an effort to reconnect with them through his cooking.
Garden State (2004)
For those of you who see going home for the holidays as the ultimate purgatory, this film might remind you why family is so important, even if that’s the family you choose. Garden State tells the tale of tv actor, Andrew Largeman, who returns home for his mothers funeral only to encounter his controlling father and reckless high school buddies. After forging new friendships and revisiting his tragic past, Largeman learns the real meaning of “home”. Even if you have seen this before, I can truly say it’s transforming when you’re watching it under your parents roof.
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (1989)
There is something very special about gathering around a dinner table and in The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, lives unfurl as Albert (Albus Dumbledore in a way you wish you had never seen him) realizes his beautiful and Jean Paul Gaultier adorned wife, Georgina, is sneaking away from the dinner table a little too often. I cannot say more and this is not a family flick but please try to push for it.
Ginger and Rosa (2013)
Ginger and Rosa is one of the first films I thought for this watch list because it is almost the epitome of everything you wish would never happen at the dinner table. Ginger and Rosa are attached at the hip and before long find themselves not seeing eye to eye, to say the very least. Also in terms of standing up for what you believe in while still figuring out what you believe in, we can take away a lot from this movie other than a beautifully captured film and a beautifully captured Elle Fanning.
And if/when you do finish any of these, please comment!