Thanksgiving Movie Guide
It’s Turkey Day. It’s a time to get together with friends and family. It’s also a time for many, including my family, to see movies. You watch the parade. You watch football. You eat. You see a movie. So this weekend, what should you see? I’ve sorted my recommendations into helpful categories.
I want a movie to keep the kids occupied (and maybe me, too). Tangled
This is not your standard Disney princess. Sure Rapunzel is blonde, beautiful, has a small animal for a friend, and is trapped in a tower. But she’s resilient, intelligent, has 70 feet of hair, and is quick with a frying pan. And she’s not an orphan. With songs by Alan Menken (Little Mermaid, Aladdin), beautiful animation, lots of cartoonish action, and great voice performances from Mandy Moore and Zachary Levy (NBC’s Chuck), Tangled is a great choice for all ages. (In theaters.) My Grade: B[SIGNUP]
I’d like a side of boob with my turkey. Love and Other Drugs
Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway are tremendously talented actors. But in this crass, sloppy, underwritten film, the pair is nothing more than buns and boobs. He’s a narcissistic drug rep; she’s a bohemian artist with Parkinson’s disease. (Well, I only surmise that she’s an artist. She lives in a loft, takes lots of pictures, and constantly arranges and rearranges them. And she’s quirky.) What starts as a promising idea, slowly devolves into cloying melodrama. And boasts one of the worst I’m-just-a-girl-standing-in-front-of-a-boy-You-complete-me rom-com, love speeches of all time. But let’s be honest, most will see it for Jake’s buns and Anne’s boobs. (In theaters.) My Grade: D+
I sometimes wish Glee was a tad bit gayer. Burlesque
Ever wonder what a love child of Moulin Rouge and Cabaret would look like (especially if they watched The Devil Wears Prada and the MTV video awards while doing it)? Well, add some lip injections, rhinestones, and a lot of man-liner, and you might just have Burlesque. It stars Christina Aguilera (in a somewhat flat performance) as a young waitress looking to make it big in L.A. She ends up walking into Burlesque — a nightclub that kinda looks like it’s attached to a strip mall — owned by the fabulous Cher, and instantly knows she wants to perform on that stage. And will stop at nothing to get there. Cher is completely underutilized. Stanley Tucci simply walked off the Prada set onto this one (he wears a boa and helps makeover the new girl). And Eric Dane is stuck in the McSteamy role.
And while there are three … THREE … songs called Burlesque, the movie never actually approaches being burlesque. There is a multitude of grinds and thrusts, but no raunch or titillation. It’s a movie that tries to appeal to too many people and is flash, without substance. It’s also, obviously, a way to launch Cher and Aguilera’s new singles. (In theaters.) My Grade: C
I want to get caught up on (possible) Oscar contenders. On DVD & Blu-Ray now are the Best Picture contenders Toy Story 3, The Kids Are All Right, and Winter’s Bone. Each is phenomenal and should be seen. Also on DVD/Blu-Ray is the sure-to-be Best Animated Feature nominee How To Train Your Dragon. In theaters, see Best Picture contenders 127 Hours, The Town, and Social Network as soon as you can.
I’d like to see one of the most classic Thanksgiving scenes of all time. Rent Addams Family Values immediately. Or, just Google Addams Family Values Thanksgiving. What you will find — and hopefully I’m not alone here — is one of the funniest, darkest Thanksgiving scenes of all time, the camp musical. Wednesday (Christina Ricci) plays Pocahontas and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) is the turkey. (“Eat me!”) It’s to be a stereotypical display of peace, butter-churning, and food-sharing. But then mid-scene, Wednesday goes off script. “I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.” Brilliant.