Gather together for film and family

Published 11:57 am Tuesday, November 21, 2023

This week at Tryon Theatre, we have a holiday-appropriate pairing of films for our Tryon Film Society. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we have chosen two films that celebrate reuniting with our loved ones, with family. Of course, family can take different forms for different people, be it the family of relatives, the family of our chosen friends, or any amalgam of the aforementioned two. 

We have selected films that highlight this spectrum of family, and all the love to be had within a family’s embrace, no matter the form it takes. The first of these familial films is “The World’s End” (Wright 2013), which focuses a on reunion of childhood friends, and the second is “It’s Complicated” (Meyers 2009), which follows the reconnection of a nuclear family later in life, once all the kids have left the house. 

“The World’s End” is a riotous comedy by England’s Edgar Wright, a tremendously talented director, who blends action and comedy with brilliant editing and perfectly punctuated dialogue. This film is the third and final film in a “spiritual” trilogy of films all sharing the same cast, director and comedic sensibilities, dubbed “The Cornetto Trilogy” due to the characters’ habits of eating Cornetto ice cream cones throughout the plots. The first two films in this “trilogy” are “Shaun of the Dead” (2004) and “Hot Fuzz” (2007), both excellent comedies. 

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“The World’s End” is no exception from its predecessors, having easily won us over. The respective plots of this trilogy always feature creative left turns that are best left unrevealed in their specificities. Simply said, this film is about a group of childhood mates, now aged and drifted apart, who reunite in their hometown for an epic pub crawl they had left unfinished in their youth, with hilarious and world-changing consequences. 

“It’s Complicated” is a mature and gentle comedy from acclaimed romantic comedy creator Nancy Meyers. At the center of this story is Meryl Streep, playing a lovable but lonely divorcee, Jane, freshly free of kids in her home, and focused on her personal care. However, a boozy celebration of one of her children’s college graduation brings her back into connection with her ex-husband in hilarious and awkward ways, kicking off a series of escalating complications as Jane tries to embrace love after middle age without disrupting the delicate balance of her distanced family.

Admittedly, neither of the films have anything to do with the actual holiday of Thanksgiving directly. In fact, one of them isn’t even set in the United States. Nonetheless, the themes of these films are squarely in line with the holiday’s sentiments of memory and familiar bonding. On a playful note, both films feature the characters heavily indulging in food and drink, behaviors most befitting of our most gluttonous tradition. These films are guaranteed to make you laugh, to leave you with a smile, and hopefully leave you comforted this holiday. We hope we can share some laughs with you soon!  

Tryon Theatre is closed on Thanksgiving Day. “The World’s End” shows Wednesday (11/22)  at 7 p.m. and Saturday (11/25) at 7 p.m. “It’s Complicated” shows Friday (11/24) at 7 p.m. and Sunday (11/26) at 2:30 p.m.