A Family Thanksgiving (2010 TV Movie)
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Meanwhile, Claudia is directed to assist a corporate client in reversing an injunction so that it can demolish a park to build an enormous development. In order to realize this, she insists her subordinate employees work on Thanksgiving Day, because the court hearing is the day after. During this process, Claudia meets Gina (Faye Dunaway), a mysterious older woman who makes it her goal to teach Claudia some moral lessons. Gina takes Claudia to an alternative world, where Claudia is a lower profile happily married minivan-driving 'soccer mom' with two children.
Claudia is perplexed by the situation she is now in, but while experiencing her new life, the way it could have been, she learns that she is missing out on a lot; despite past prejudice regarding married life, she eventually finds she's falling in love with the man to whom she is married, and she becomes accustomed to the new life she is leading. Furthermore, she grows closer to her sister. Just as she is about to settle with her new life, Gina returns to take her back. Claudia is reluctant to return to her corporate life, and thus must consider what she is most thankful for.
What I hated about this film that is shows that women are not happy until they have a husband and kids. This very stupid. I think a better story line is that she breaks with her husband and would of been shown what life she will miss out on.
The performances in this film are good. I just have a huge problem with the hidden message that "Women are only happy when they are married. That is insulting.
If this story sounds somewhat familiar, perhaps you saw The Christmas Clause (TV 2008). The current movie takes the basic idea of the former, resets it from Christmas to Thanksgiving, and flips the situation, i.e., instead of a mom with three kids shown what her life would be like as a successful lawyer with all the material goods she could possibly desire, here the lawyer becomes the mom and is shown how much richer her life could be if she broadened her focus and looked beyond her career as the sole purpose of her life.
While both movies take a similar route to reach a common goal, this "remake" is executed much more adeptly, and while still firmly rooted in the traditional Hallmark mold and formula, "Thanksgiving" dispenses with many of the clichés which made "Christmas" merely pedestrian.
The acting here is uniformly good, but young Kennedi Clements as Claudia's alternate reality daughter, is a heart-stealer in this, her apparent movie debut.
A career oriented woman with no time for even thinking of a family life meets up with Faye Dunaway and when she is in a car with her, she is suddenly transported to a totally new life with a husband and 2 children.
The film first deals with the hardships she faces when realizing that this is her new life, she tries desperately to provide a decent home for all concerned.
She does come to realize that her life can be balanced with both family and a career. In fact, she takes on a case, but the opposite side that she was going to take when she was the dedicated career woman.
Suddenly, she is transported back to her former life. While the premise may sound inane, this is a real film from the heart, showing that we can balance our lives.
If you like the sappy, all wrapped up in a heartwarming, happy ending type movie, you'll probably like this one too. If you're not a big fan of these movies, this probably isn't going to change your view.
It follows the same basic "story" or "message" as so many others. Sure, maybe the details differ, maybe the scenario is reversed (riches to rags vs. rags to riches, a woman vs. a man etc.). But yet.... Just another holiday movie.
So, like I said in the title... If you've seen one, you've seen them all!
I will say though, the acting in this one is better than a lot of others, but again, nothing extraordinary to make you want to run out and see it.
The little girl was the absolute high point of this movie. She was so adorable. I'm amazed they can get a kid that age, or even looks that age, to follow directions.
Probably what influenced my dislike for this movie the most is that it made Claudia so incredibly unlikeable in the first half, that I found it hard to recover from that enough to like her in the last half. And this is another case of an instant 180 degree change in personality, which I don't buy.
***SPOILERS*** And I totally hate what the story did at the end. There had to be a better way. If I understand what she did as the corporation's representative correctly, she would be disbarred at the least and more likely sued for millions. Nice happy ending that way, but then that didn't happen in the movie.
There was no attempt at all to balance the main character's life. In short, I felt like a teenager wrote the script and that the movie was telling viewers that either a person could be unhappy and completely career focused or blissfully happy being 100% family oriented.