5 of the Best Family Reunion Movies

5 of the Best Family Reunion Movies

Chloe Seaman
November 22, 2016

Getting together with family this holiday season? Here is our list of some of the best movies featuring family reunions:

1. Home Alone

Home Alone is one of those movies that leaves no one disappointed when the reruns hit Christmas time again. Playing out every kid’s dream of having the house to themselves, this movie is about one kid who gets left behind at home when his family leaves on a Christmas vacation.

It all starts with a family reunion. The McCallister family has gathered at Peter and Kate’s home the night before their Christmas-in-Paris vacation. Kevin, the main character, is an 8-year-old boy who gets picked on by his siblings at the reunion. Kevin gets into an argument with his brother and sent to his room on the third floor. The next morning, the family frantically rushes to the airport to make their flight, accidentally leaving Kevin behind.

Kevin is home alone; and so, begin the antics, robbers, booty traps and eventually… another reunion.

2. The Royal Tenenbaums

The Royal Tenenbaums, directed by Wes Anderson, features a star-studded ensemble cast including Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gene Hackman, Luke Wilson, Anjelica Huston, Owen Wilson and Bill Murray.

When Royal Tenenbaum announces that he is terminally ill, the estranged Tenenbaum family reunites for the first time in 22 years under one roof.

There’s Royal Tenenbaum, estranged from his wife and living in a hotel on credit for years; his wife, who has been occupying their big “dreamy New York” house for years; and their three children, once child prodigies, now “adult neurotics.”

Chas was a financial whiz kid, who as an adult, is coping with the death of his wife in a plane crash and raising their two sons. Margot was an accomplished playwright who won a Pulitzer Prize in the ninth grade and grew up to become “stoic and enigmatic” and suffer from writer’s block. Finally, there’s Richie, a former child tennis champion who grew up to retire from professional tennis after a mysterious emotional breakdown.

It’s a family reunion with shocking revelations.

3. The Celebration

Thomas Vinterberg’s The Celebration is a classic example of a ‘Dogme 95’ film.

Dogme 95 refers to the collection of Danish filmmakers who vowed in 1995 to make ‘pure’ movies. The rules they set included filming “everything on location, no sets or outside props, handheld camerawork, direct sound, no opticals or filters, no flashbacks, and no director’s credit.”

The Celebration tells the story of a man’s 60th birthday gathering, which brings together a set of characters at a house in the middle of a county estate. The story is anything but a happy reunion.

Unorthodox, twisted and bizarre, this film explores the truth behind each of the characters and the skeletons in their closets, all in the Dogme 95 style that makes you feel like a fly on the wall.

4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Holiday time can be chaotic for any family. Arranging flights, dinners, outfits, family photos, gift-buying. But regular chaos can’t compete with what the Griswold family endures in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This 1989 comedy is a holiday time reunion story that stars Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid and Juliette Lewis.

Clark, played by Chase, hopes for a quiet, old-fashioned Christmas, but instead he gets madness. Everything seems to go wrong, including surprise guests, awkward moments, a squirrel in the house and grandma stating the Pledge of Allegiance instead of grace at the family dinner.

They say family is the gift that keeps on giving. In Christmas Vacation, that gift is a bunch of zany disasters.

5. Dan in Real Life

Starring Steve Carell as the title character, this movie is about that family reunion where something you would never expect to happen, happens.

The story follows Dan, a widower and advice columnist, who takes his three daughters to his parents’ vacation house for a family get-together. While at a nearby bookstore, he meets a woman whom he manages to strike up a conversation with and immediately falls in love with her. When he gets back to the family vacation house – where all his family is – he declares he has found someone. Just then, Dan’s brother introduces his new girlfriend – who turns out to be the woman Dan just met. Now all are together in one house and the awkwardness begins.

Have fun watching these family reunion movies with your family this holiday season!

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.