22 Family Movies Not To Watch With Your Family On Thanksgiving

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Courtesy of The Weinstein Company.

August: Osage County

This one’s truly got it all: cancer, suicide, addiction, abuse, affairs, incest, Meryl Streep in a wig. Too many family members to remember the names of no matter how many times you’ve seen it. Dinners that end in actual physical altercations. Everything good and fun to remind you of home! We follow the Weston family, who though function as a matriarchal unit, are united to grieve the death of the patriarch of their family. Violet, mother to three girls (one of whom has her own daughter), Mattie Fae, their aunt, and all of their respective husbands, boyfriends, and children suddenly find themselves under one roof for the first time in years. And things get real ugly.

This is one of those rare movies where, if you were to sit down and watch it with the fam, you’d probably all have a good laugh at the absurdity and dysfunction that’s so TOTALLY not you guys. But in the quiet moments, in the subtler interactions between mother and daughter or sister to sister, the reality sets in, and the tension might become too much to bear. You’d recognize a glance or an offhand remark or a family in-joke meant to target and hurt someone, and you’d all shift in your seats a little, begging for Julia Roberts to scream something like “Eat the fish, bitch!” again just to have a little reprieve from the tortures of analyzing and accepting your own dysfunction. As I said- feels just like home!

Especially avoid if: Any of the things I mentioned above are triggering. The good thing about this movie is that, as an adaptation from a play, it’s got a ton of intentional, mood-lightening hilarity build right in. But on the whole, it’s jam-packed with so much real family drama, it’s not worth taking the risk of having to wonder who in your family would lose it first during your viewing party. HOWEVER, if things get so tense at the table this year, and your choice is between watching two cousins explain to their family how they fell in love OR discussing our new president-elect’s potential cabinet picks, well, my friend, you’ll really only have one viable option: eat the fish, bitch.