“Home for the Holidays” (1995)

MOVIE REVIEW: “Home for the Holidays” stars Holly Hunter (Raising Arizona, The Incredibles), Anne Bancroft (The Graduate, To Be or Not to Be [1983]), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, The Judge [2014]), Charles Durning (O Brother Where Art Thou?, Dog Day Afternoon), Dylan McDermott (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Olympus Has Fallen), Geraldine Chaplin (Talk to Her, Nashville [1975]), Steve Guttenberg (Short Circuit, Three Men and a Baby), Cynthia Stevenson (Happiness, Agent Cody Banks), and Claire Danes (Homeland [TV series], Romeo + Juliet). It is directed by Jodie Foster (Money Monster, The Beaver), with the screenplay being written by W.D. Richter (Big Trouble in Little China, Invasion of the Body Snatchers).

Claudia Larson (Hunter) travels back home for Thanksgiving to a rather dysfunctional family with many new issues to confront.

Why not watch a Thanksgiving movie when Christmas has just come and gone? Much like “Gremlins,” I thought this one was meant for a different holiday. Whoops.

“Home for the Holidays” is a Jodie Foster film that deals in the dysfunctional family. And when I say dysfunctional… I mean really dysfunctional. The amount of problems this family has is only fitting for the big screen, and I’ll say that I was rather taken about by the craziness of it all.

It may just be me, but the movie seems to be stylized in the way of utter confusion. Everyone’s dialogue overlaps, the cutting seems sporadic, and the situations couldn’t be more haphazard. There’s a few moments of reprieve, but overall “Home for the Holidays” wants you to buckle in and brace yourself. Plenty a time I found myself uncomfortable; this family has many issues and secrets, all of which get uncorked like a shaken bottle of toasting champagne. For the most part, I found it amusing. But there were certainly some instances that I questioned what it all was for.

Foster’s got a great line-up of talent in this one. Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, Robert Downey Jr., Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott, Claire Danes; it’s insane. They all came to play, and play they did. Of course, there’s some devices used in this that you’ve seen in several family-holiday features. But the performances and chemistry are what separate it, and thankfully everyone holds their own to keep this story afloat (because boy, the story is quite shaky).

There’s not much to say about “Home for the Holidays.” It’s a wild movie that, while the arc of the main character is fairly easy to figure out, the overall is hard to pin down. The love that is found within the spiteful moments is few and far between, and while I don’t need those parts in bulk, it’s hard for me to really resonate or care for anyone. There’s so much baggage to each character that it’s almost caricature. Watching this was like passing by a car that’s been set ablaze. You stare in shock as you pass by, but you soon move on. And while this story boasts some notable things (primarily its performances), I didn’t find myself as enthralled or engrossed in the lives of the characters as I think I should’ve been. It can be humorous in how weird it is, but there’s not much more to it. FINAL SCORE: 70%= Burnt Popcorn

Here is the trailer:

One response to ““Home for the Holidays” (1995)

  1. Pingback: December Movie Rankings | Juicy Reviews·

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