Jodi Foster’s 1995 star-studded directorial debut is a perfect representation of why they say you can’t go home again…When her teenage daughter opts out of Thanksgiving, single mother Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) travels alone to her childhood home for an explosive holiday dinner with her dysfunctional family. Claudia quickly tires of her parents, her long-suffering sister (Cynthia Stevenson), her snobby brother-in-law (Steve Guttenberg) and her nutty aunt (Geraldine Chaplin). But the evening gets interesting when Claudia’s gay brother Tommy (Robert Downey Jr.) turns up with a new friend named Leo Fish (Dylan McDermott). The parents seem to accept their son’s homosexuality without acknowledging it, which is an accurate note for many families. Claudia is disturbed by the absence of Tommy’s former boyfriend, who was popular with the entire family.
“The movie, which is about the Thanksgiving family reunion from hell, is not exactly a comedy and yet not a drama, either. Like many family reunions, it has a little of both elements, and the strong sense that madness is being held just out of sight.” – Roger Ebert