Home for the Holidays Movie Review Summary

Actors: Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott, Geraldine Chaplin, Cynthia Stevenson

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Home for the Holidays

On the very same day single mother Claudia Larson is fired from the museum where she restores paintings, she makes out with her boss, learns her daughter is planning on having sex for the first time at the age of 16, and she leaves Chicago to go back to her parents' for Thanksgiving. She is brought back to their crazy lives, stories and problems the very minute she gets off her plane, and she knows how difficult it will be for her to spend a whole day with her family. However, when her gay brother Tommy unexpectedly shows up from Boston with a friend, Leo Fish, Claudia starts feeling better. He makes her laugh and is an ally, as opposed to her sister Joanne, who is married, has two children and feels like she is trapped in her hometown, looking after their parents, while both Claudia and Tommy escaped.
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Preparation for the dinner gives Claudia the opportunity to catch up with her brother and get to know Leo better, as her mother tries to push her in the arms of one of her ex boyfriends, who gives her a pathetic account of his loneliness, while dinner itself (with two competing turkeys) makes old rivalries between the different members of this somewhat dysfunctional family resurface. Old stories are told and secrets are revealed: Aunt Gladys sings her love for Claudia's father, the whole family learns about Claudia's situation and Joanne reveals Tommy's secret marriage with boyfriend Jack. Now that it is clear Leo is not Tommy's new boyfriend, as everybody thought, a short-lived romance starts between Claudia and Leo, who has to leave the next day. But before leaving she has to try to make things right again, with her sister and with her parents.

The review of this Movie prepared by lea cicchiello

This is the worst possible Thanksgiving for Claudia "Clyde" Larson (Hunter) to have to spend with her family. She just lost her job as an art restorer in a Chicago museum, she's been making out with her soon-to-be-ex-boss, she's coming down with a cold, and as her 16-year-old daughter Kitt (Clair Danes) drops her off at the airport she announces she intends to sleep with her boyfriend over the holiday break. Once at home, Clyde has to deal with her mother Adele (Bancroft) who's always trying to fix her up with a good man, her snooty sister Joanne (Stevenson), and her batty aunt Gladys (Chaplin), and her gay brother Tommy (Downey). This 1995 film, Jodie Foster's second directorial effort, is a little darker than your usual dysfunctional family holiday fare, but there's a lot of delightful acting, with Steve Guttenberg, Emily Ann Lloyd, and David Strathairn rounding out the cast.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Script Analysis of Home for the Holidays

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Plot & Themes

Comedy, primarily    -   Yes Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Family, struggling with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   All family members Comedy or Parody about    -   dysfunctional family

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   artist    -   unemployed Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing    -   Some foul language Is this movie based on a    -   book

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