Married Date Night at Home Movie Review: Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade


My husband and I fortuitously stumbled upon this movie last weekend. It’s always a gamble when we pick out movies to watch for our date-at-home every weekend. I just hate getting disappointed by a movie! If I’m going to give two hours of my life away I better get a great, memorable return that nourishes my soul. We are one of the rare couples who don’t have Netflix or Amazon Prime. (We have had Prime off and on though the years. Right now it’s supposed to be “off” but last time I checked somehow I was showing up as a Prime member. Hmmm….whoever gifted it to me please ‘fess up so I can thank you!) We sometimes get DVDs from the library, either old classics we’ve already seen and sometimes new ones, either ones based on what we are reading or interested in. or random ones that grab our attention while at the library perusing. Usually, we find something free on the Internet.



I sometimes do some kind of preview by Googling the title and reading whatever I can find about it, but even then, I don’t usually know if I’m going to like it unless I start watching at least 5 to 10 minutes and then I start to feel invested and want to watch the whole thing, and then, occasionally, I get all the way to the end and realize that it was complete brain candy. I’m OK with brain candy every once in a while, but I can’t handle it every weekend. As a Carol Tuttle Type 4, I am very much into meaning and substance. You can see my list here of some great clean movies I’ve found in the past few years that are romantic enough for a date night. Lately, I’ve taken to going to YouTube and searching for “romantic Christian movies.” That usually gives me the substance I’m looking for.

I used to just do a general search for Hallmark Movies on YouTube. Lately though I’ve been slightly disappointed though. They aren’t always the substantial movie I’m looking for, meaning, sometimes they are complete brain frosting, not even brain candy. But, I was pleasantly surprised last weekend when I came across the movie featured above, called, “Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade.” It’s the perfect married date night movie.

What I love about it:

  • that it takes place in Chicago, so there are some fun cultural references to the Windy City
  • that it’s about Thanksgiving, that one holiday that gets so dwarfed by Christmas. Let’s hear it for more Thanksgiving movies! (My birthday and my older daughter’s birthdays are close to Thanksgiving so I am partial to it.)
  • beautiful Autumn Reeser, who plays Emily, the star
  • Emily’s outfits, so vintage, from the 40s-50s. I wish I could have them all!
  • handsome Antionio Cupio, the male lead, who plays Henry
  • the theme of finding love unexpectedly
  • that Emily is honest when her first boyfriend doesn’t live up to her expectations
  • that Henry is such a great guy, as he doesn’t take advantage of Emily when she gets in a vulnerable situation
  • that we don’t find out about Henry’s past until the very end
  • that it shows a modern woman who really wants to get married and settle down and have a family
  • that Henry and Emily have the same background, but they don’t know it
  • the chemistry between Emily and Henry is definitely zingy
  • that Henry learns that it’s OK to let people find happiness in their own way, as Emily teaches him when she says to just be OK with having a “nutty movie night.”
  • the acting is great
  • it’s clean
  • Emily shows how to increase romance by building up anticipation
  • the idea of the “Starlights,” a group of long-married couples that Emily admires, because they meet monthly to practice ballroom dancing to dance in the Thanksgiving Day parade
  • that Emily loves old-fashioned things like romance, Thanksgiving Day, parades, Santa Claus, family, love, enduring marriage,  and vintage clothes, including lots of dresses, skirts, pillbox hats and Peter Pan collars.


I give it five out of five stars! We actually watched it for a date “morning” movie, instead of date “night,” as a change of pace. We had a rare Saturday when we didn’t have to go anywhere other than chauffeuring one child to get a ride to a youth temple trip. (Thank you football season for being over! No Saturday morning games till next year!) We got up for family morning scripture time, took the child to his ride from the church building, then the rest of us went back to bed with two kids actually going back to sleep. (It’s so great to have kids at the age where they actually want to go back to sleep in the morning!) Then dear hubby and I watched the movie in bed for our weekend date. Since it was morning, for once, we didn’t fall asleep, like we often do, now that we are old, when we attempt movie date nights!


It’s so important to have dates with your husband. Even if you don’t have money to go out, you can always have some kind of date at home. Trust me, I know, because I’ve been doing cheap date nights for YEARS at home.  Here’s a podcast episode I love from Ramona Zabriskie about the importance of date night, even at home. Consistency in having it every week, leading up to it with anticipation, and variety, are the keys!

Here is a great vlog by Jordan Page of about how to do date night when you have lots of kids. I cut the first 8 and a half minutes off to get to the point of how and why date night is important. (Fun fact: last summer during our family reunion at my parents’ cabin I looked up at the family photos being shown on the big screen TV while we were all chatting. I saw a photo of my nephew’s wedding reception. I thought I saw a woman who looked like Jordan Page sitting at a refreshment table. Turned out it was her! I got to talking with my sister and found out my sister’s son got married to one of Jordan’s husband’s cousins.)




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