With Christmas starting the minute Halloween ends, Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick. That’s why it’s refreshing to see Freeform debut an original Thanksgiving film before the official 25 Days of Christmas seasonal programming event starts. Debuting on Saturday, November 23rd, Turkey Drop is a brand-new Freeform original film based on an Urban Dictionary term.
A “Turkey Drop” is when a high school couple becomes long-distance for college and reunites during Thanksgiving, resulting in one of them getting dumped. Lucy (Olivia Holt, Cloak & Dagger) took a big leap when she went away to college in Arizona and is excited to return home to her small town where she will be reunited with her boyfriend, who has been distant lately. Fearing the “Turkey Drop,” Lucy returns home prepared to do anything to stay with her athletic boyfriend, including changing herself when she finds that he’s been running with another girl. But things get even more complicated when her home life is turned upside down.
Lucy’s mother (Cheryl Hines, Suburgatory) has been making lots of changes at home, from turning her bedroom into a gym to her father’s fears that her mom is having an affair. To make matters worse, her brother’s best friend is staying with the family for the holiday and he’s been tormenting Lucy with the nickname “Juicy Lucy” since they were kids. As if this Thanksgiving wasn’t complicated enough, Lucy decides to cook Thanksgiving dinner herself as part of her plan to avoid getting dumped… and she’s never cooked before!
Like the best Christmas films, one thing Turkey Drop does exceptionally well is making the setting feel like Thanksgiving. In a typical holiday film, the home decor subliminally brings the colors into every shot and in this film, you’ll notice lots of yellow, orange, and cranberry colors. Even a scene inside a grocery store yields lots of fall accents without any sign of Christmas around the corner.
Once the novelty of having a new Thanksgiving film wears off, you’re left with a cute premise that is poorly executed. The biggest problem with Turkey Drop is that Lucy’s boyfriend is so unlikeable that you can’t wait for their inevitable split. It’s hard to understand why she is trying so hard to keep him and while Olivia Holt is likable and smart, you want to reach into your television and talk some sense into her. It’s also very predictable and while Holt and Hines do their best to enhance the material with their great performances, it’s not enough to save the film as a whole.
I really wanted Turkey Drop to be something special that Freeform viewers would look forward to annually. Sadly, it’s an extremely forgettable comedy that tries too hard and takes some cheap shots at laughs in the last act by introducing a cranky, cursing grandma into the family dynamic. Unless you really need a Turkey Day movie that doesn’t crossover with Christmas, skip it and jump right into better holiday fare.
I give Turkey Drop 2 out of 5 undrinkable cups of coffee.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.