Picking a movie for the whole family is somewhat difficult these days. Again, if your home is like mine, the general conversation pattern is something like this:
Grumpy Man: "Let's watch a movie that makes us think."
Daughter: "No 'thinking movies', it's Thanksgiving! Let's watch While You Were Sleeping."
Mom: "No, we need to watch a Christmas movie, since Thanksgiving is over."
Grumpy Man: "It's not even Advent. Please."
Daughter: [Ignoring Grumpy Man's Advent comment, as per usual] "While You Were Sleeping IS a Christmas movie! And we're watching Elf tomorrow, so that should help."
Mom: "Well, that's fine, I guess. But we need something light hearted, not with death and despair."
Son: "I like death and despair!"
Daughter: "No death! And only Simba-Nala-Romance arcs, please."
Grumpy Man: "Huh?"
Future Son-in-Law: "A Simba-Nala Romance is one in which difficulties are permitted, but there is no infidelity, and it's always clear that they'll be together at the end of the movie. And they are together happily at the end of the movie."
Grumpy Man: "Hmmm."
Mom: "While You Were Sleeping has too much immorality in it. I mean Tom Hanks speaks of his 'exploits' to his young son."
Daughter: "No, you're thinking of Sleepless in Seattle."
Mom: "Oh, right. Let's watch While You Were Sleeping."
Son: "No romance."
Etc., etc., etc.
As I said, I'm here to help. I have the solution for your Thanksgiving Friday movie watching needs: Troll Hunter. You heard me.
Troll Hunter (2010) features all the qualities of a true Thanksgiving Friday movie: Adventure, suspense, complete lack of romance or inappropriate relationships, Norwegian with English subtitles, giant trolls, violence within limits, great storyline, and compelling characters. And a larger-than-life selfless Norwegian Hero. Plus an inept government bureaucracy that almost botches the cover-up. And best of all, because it is filmed in Norway, there is snow on the ground throughout the movie, so there's a plausible argument that this is a "Christmas movie."
Actually, Troll Hunter won the Newport Film Festival's Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking prize, and was critically acclaimed in Norway upon its release in 2010.
Filmed like a Blair Witch Project mockumentary, the story follows three college students filming their search for a notorious bear poacher. The man turns out to be a troll hunter, working for the Norwegian government, which is covering up increasing troll activity with a phony story about rampaging bears. The story is funny, well-told, and interesting, with much comedic relief, and a great payoff in the end. It's the best B movie you'll ever watch. Better yet, it is generally available on Netflix.
I love this movie. I do have friends who
PS - Don't let this recommendation cause you to doubt my recommendation yesterday of The First Thanksgiving. I'm just that well-rounded.