Synopsis

Thanksgiving Guest

Chad Broderick and his teenage son, Dillon, go deer hunting in the woods close to their Midwestern home. Dillon shoots his first buck, and father and son celebrate – and bond.

The CEO of a medical products manufacturing company, Chad impresses his managers with a news report about the company’s philanthropic work around the world. Trevon, the only person of color on Chad’s management team, praises Chad for his generosity.

In his social studies high school class, Dillon is angered by the flagrant displays of racism that occurred in the segregated South during the Civil Rights Era. Chad gets a phone call from his grad school buddy, Phil, who moved into town to serve as senior loan officer at a large bank. At dinner, Chad, his wife Abby and Dillon discuss Thanksgiving plans. The family agrees that Phil and his family will be their Thanksgiving guests. Dillon mentions his social studies class and accuses his parents of being racist, since they keep people of color at arm’s length.

Chad leads a team from his church to Haiti, where they donate medical supplies. Back at Chad’s church, the leadership committee decides to host an anti-racist seminar.

Chad and Abby golf with Phil, and Abby voices her desire to get an MBA. Chad tells Phil that his company plans to acquire another plant downstate, and Phil promises to help secure a loan.

Back at Broderick Industries, Chad announces the acquisition of the new company. Trevon visits the new facility, where he lays off several workers. Zeke, an older white employee, expresses anger about being let go. Zeke has extensive expenses, which are unknown to Trevon and Chad. Trevon tells Chad that the laid-off workers were unhappy. Trevon floats the idea of job training and/or a more liberal severance package. But Chad tells Trevon that he needs to live with the decision. Trevon finds out that Chad, Phil and Brad, a fellow white manager, play racquetball weekly – without him.

That night, Trevon tells his wife, Cassandra, about the job threat and his exclusion from the all-white gym clique. Trevon, Cassandra and their kids go camping for the weekend. They run into Trevon’s army buddy, who tells the family that Trevon, as an army medic, saved his life in Iraq.

Dillon and his classmates visit a Civil Rights Museum, where Dillon learns about the Freedom Riders — white people from the northern states who unselfishly visited the south to help black people find justice. Dillon tells his girlfriend that he plans to study law to help oppressed people.

At city hall, a team from Chad’s company and the mayor unveil plans for a state-of-the-art playground in a depressed area of town.

Back at the high school, Dillon and two buddies narrowly lose a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. However, Dillon gets a morale boost from an unlikely source. A burly, African American star football player tells Dillon that he, too, occasionally messes up in sports.

One Saturday morning, a depressed Trevon stays in bed until 10 a.m. Trevon’s wife finds her husband in bed with freshly poured liquor on the bedside table. Trevon tells his wife that he found out he was deliberately excluded from the event with the mayor.

Chad is in the hospital, recuperating from a long-planned shoulder surgery. He chit-chats with the white male nurse. However, Chad bristles when the attending physician, a woman doctor from India, gives him medical advice. With his right arm in a sling, Chad decides to drive home. On the interstate, a Hispanic cop pulls him over for swerving out of his lane. Chad protests the stop, but the officer hands him a ticket because of his disrespect.

Back at home, Chad recounts the incident to Abby, Dillon and Dillon’s girlfriend. Dillion accuses his dad of racial insensitivity. But Chad tells his son that he should never mention racial matters to him ever again. Dillon promises not to do so, then whispers a prayer for his dad.

Chad and other managers – including Trevon — visit the newly acquired downstate plant. Suddenly, Zeke, the disgruntled worker who was fired earlier, rushes in and pleads with Chad to get his job back. Chad apologizes for the firing and appeals to Zeke for understanding. Zeke brandishes a gun, which accidentally goes off. Chad is hit in the thigh. Amid the commotion, Trevon pulls his bleeding boss to the safety of a secure room. Trevon stops the bleeding, saving Chad’s life. For the first time, Chad talks to Trevon man to man. Chad and Trevon learn about each other’s wives, kids – and lives. They even share jokes together. The hostage negotiators reluctantly allow Zeke’s wife to personally plead with Zeke. It works. The ordeal is over.

Chad, Abby and about 30 other members of Chad’s church assemble for the long anticipated anti-racism seminar. The seminar leader points out the racism includes a potent combination of prejudice, coupled with power to create exclusion. Citing biblical references, the pastor presents the biblical foundation for anti-racism. Chad learns that racism is not about doing good to people of color. Rather, it’s about making room in the heart for people of color.

Thanksgiving Day has arrived, and Chad and his family celebrate in style. Chad announces that the DA’s office is being lenient with Zeke. Abby announces that she is accepted in grad school, and Dillon says he’s accepted into a college pre-law program. Chad says he’s grateful that Phil helped him acquire the new plant. Abby says she can’t wait to meet Phil and his family. Then, Chad announces that he got a text stating that the guests are at the front door.

As everyone anticipates the arrival of Phil and his family, Chad opens the door. In comes Trevon and his family. Abby whispers to Chad that she thought Phil and his family would be coming for Thanksgiving. Chad responds that he invited Phil, but his college buddy couldn’t make it. They’ll visit the next day. Everyone celebrates the newly-forged merger of two families – one black, one white.