Jodie Foster directed and produced Home for the Holidays, an American rom-com movie from 1995. Writers featured in the film include William R. Richter, who adapted Chris Radant’s short story. Film composer Mark Isham composed the score for the film. A young woman, Claudia Larson, departs Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with her dysfunctional family after losing her job, kissing her ex-boss, and discovering her daughter has her own plans for the holiday.
Paramount Pictures in North America and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment internationally released Home for the Holidays on November 3, 1995. Despite Foster’s direction, Hunter’s, and Downey’s performances, the film received mixed reviews from critics who praised Foster’s direction but sharply criticized the screenplay. With a budget of $20 million, the movie grossed $22.1 million.
While the movie isn’t quite a comedy, and it’s not a drama either, it’s about a Thanksgiving family reunion from hell. Typical of family reunions, there was a strong sense of madness present hidden from view, as well as a little of both. Are we not all guilty of parking the car a block away, taking several deep breaths, rubbing our eyes, and massaging our temples before taking off, gritting our teeth? Family is so important to us because we love them, not because they are not important to us.
What Happens in Home for the Holidays?
Clauida Larson loses her job due to the budget cuts. Her children live with her. Her parents, Henry and Adele Larson, and other family members gather in Baltimore for Thanksgiving. The only child, Kitt, makes plans with her boyfriend to spend the holidays with him. During Kitt’s stay in Baltimore, she will have a relationship, telling Clauida she intends to do so.
The next day, Claudia calls Tommy and says she’s been fired from her job and she’s planning on having sex while she’s away. Her parents meet her at the airport. Claudia tells them she plans to seek out more employment opportunities. While she denies losing her job, her mother suspects she has. Aunt Glady, who once taught Latin well and shows some signs of dementia, also arrives.
Claudia met her classmate on the way home from class. Her family is visiting them one by one. The sister of Claudia Wedman also attends. Their children can be considered spoiled since they are married to Walter and together have two children. Home for Holidays is a movie you’ll have to watch for yourself to discover what happens.
What was Not Liked by the Critics?
A toxic trait of patriarchy is the exaltation of the blood family. We are tethered, controlled, and complacent with the unaddressed traumas that leave us broken when we accept boundaries being violated, harassment, violence, passive aggression, and humiliation as part of some old, tired myth of love. Also, it’s gaslighting to claim that dysfunctional families are just different kinds of loving families.
Quite possibly, the most pleasing dynamic in the film focuses on Tommy’s charm and Claudia’s grace to give the film some more tolerable foundation. Joanne’s outraged seething tells the whole story of Tommy and Joanne’s animosity, not exposition. Adele’s histrionics overshadow her better qualities due to Henry’s implacable stoicism and Henry’s infrequent breaks. In this way, it is emotionally powerful without the poison.
He is at least acknowledged as having a negative characteristic, and he leaves crying. But later, throughout, he nags her into something in an uncomfortable hetero-romance. Instead of affection or consent, forced kisses and pushiness are used. A new dysfunctional nightmare is born, and the film makes it seem like the happy ending as if it were cute. The film lies again. There is no critique in the cynicism; it is just a way to apologize for these horrible lives, to normalize them.
Home for the Holidays can be Seen Where?
Roku, Kanopy, and Pluto TV offer the 1995 film Home for Holidays for streaming. Additionally, the film is available on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu, Microsoft Store, and Apple T.V.