Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday/festival wherein families get together, feast on out-of-the-world turkey, play football and indulge in carousing. Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving Day was set to commemorate all the good things in life, along with thanking the Lord and thanking others who have been helpful, be it for big or small reasons. What comes to your mind when you think of Thanksgiving Day? Is it the constant, festive, frenzied jabber of your loved ones or the panic you face while trying to cook the perfect Turkey? These are some of the common problems that most households face a week before Thanksgiving. Apart from cooking a great meal, getting together with family, and being a formidable host also plays an important part during the festival. Who would have thought a sit-com movie would be made along the same lines? 'Pieces of April' is a beautiful, rom-com/sit-com that narrates the misadventures of a girl trying to cook the perfect Turkey, after inviting her unsupportive family for Thanksgiving who disapproves her lifestyle. Read on.
21 year old April Burns (Katie Holmes) lives with her boyfriend Bobby (Derek Luke), in a decrepit apartment in Lower East Side, New York. Being disconnected from her family, April was never on good terms with her dying mother, Joy (Patricia Clarkson). However, her boyfriend urges her to host a Thanksgiving dinner and asks her to invite her family over to rebuild and re-strengthen their ties. April faces a lot of pressure in terms of cooking the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving, and if preparing the holiday feast wasn't enough, April discovers that her oven is damaged. Without a working oven and her boyfriend out of town for urgent work, April desperately tries to salvage the situation by asking for help from her neighbors, who until now were only strangers across the hallway. She first bumps into an African-American couple, who decide to help her and let her use their oven, despite having their own Thanksgiving feast to prepare. Knowing that she can't trouble the family too much, she decides to hunt for more help and bumps into Wayne (Sean Hayes) who recently became the proud owner of a convection oven. Throughout the movie, April struggles to cook the bird in different ovens, and in a change of scene, her family are seen travelling to her dilapidated apartment for Thanksgiving, while recounting April's failures. April's father, Jim (Oliver Patt) is the only one who seems to have faith in his daughter's abilities, whereas April's mother is not convinced and the younger sister constantly reminds them of her sister's failures. Timmy, the youngest child is seen skirting the sensitive bullets by clicking random, awry pictures.
Pieces Of April And Thanksgiving
As a custom, people from all over the world return to their families to celebrate Thanksgiving and to spend time with their loved ones. The important themes of Thanksgiving are portrayed in this family but have completely reversed! Here, in the case of Thanksgiving, April was unwilling to spend time with her family and was coaxed into inviting them by her boyfriend. On the other hand, the Burns families were just as unexcited and halfheartedly agree to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with their estranged daughter. Written by Peter Hedges, 'Pieces of April' is a comical tale that portrays the surreal observations of family breakdowns, complicated relationships and bitterness; a stark contrast to the themes of Thanksgiving.
What the audiences can take from this movie is April's efforts for making the final thanksgiving for her mother a pleasant one before she succumbs to cancer, and her efforts to turn the bitterness into sweet memories that her family and she can cherish for a long time. Even the relationship that April shares with the neighbors highlights that in times of need, people are always ready to help, and in this case, April's neighbors let her use the oven to cook the Thanksgiving turkey. What's more, April's boyfriend also happens to be of African-American descent and showcases that there are no racial qualms between the two; something audiences can definitely learn from.
'Pieces of April' may not be the typical 'happy-ending' Thanksgiving film, but highlights the importance of family life, of helpful neighbors, painstaking efforts, and a supportive boyfriend. Improvising on the Thanksgiving fable, 'Pieces of April' is a touching, comical story and is a must-watch with family and friends for Thanksgiving this year.