On this week’s episode of The Un-Titled Movie Podcast, we watched “Thanksgiving Classic” Son In Law, and loved almost every second of Pauly Shore-ian goodness. The movie raises some important questions though that must be answered. Is Crawl actually very annoying? Would we accept him into our lives if he dated one of our daughters? Does The Great Hambino have an incestuous love for his sister? Why isn’t anyone in jail after the debacle that goes on with these characters? We do our best to answer these and many more as things go off the rails as usual.
More importantly than any of those questions if this one: Did we still enjoy flick? Well hell yeah we did! We weezed juice, we buffed the wood, we munched grindage, and we even found time in our busy lives to scope out some baby-fresh nugs and cones. Listen, we’re in our thirties, we have families, we can’t just spend all day scoping out baby-fresh nugs and cones; so when we can finally fit it in our schedules, it’s a real treat. Point is, we enjoyed ourselves the full Pauly Shore experience, and we’re all the better for it. However, there’s one thing that this movie reminded us of that we don’t appreciate: That no one gives a crap about Thanksgiving. There’s a reason that I had to quote “Thanksgiving Classic” earlier, because it’s not the kind of holiday that get’s its own classics. Everyone has things they watch on Christmas and Halloween, but no one really has any movies that they watch every Thanksgiving. We know because we asked around when we were trying to decide on something to do for our Thanksgiving episode, and people could only think of Dutch and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles , but no one watched either one every year as part of any sort of tradition. Hanukkah at least gets a prime Adam Sandler song despite getting the shaft otherwise, and Kwanzaa is still pretty new so we can give it a pass on not having a ton of “classic” film choices attached to it, but Thanksgiving just has a bunch of flicks that most people forget take place on it and a lesser Adam Sandler song. Where am I going with all this? I’m not even sure myself, but I know that Thanksgiving deserves better!
So let’s ignore the fact that T-Day is a holiday based on traditions that probably didn’t happen the way we think they did, and forget for a second that the Pilgrims jacked the natives for their land. This isn’t about the validity of the holiday itself. It’s about the celebration, and let me tell you this: In a vacuum, Thanksgiving kind of craps on the other holidays. Christmas has stressful shopping, and the fear of not getting what you want, or getting someone the wrong thing. It’s also anti-climactic if you get anything other than a pony or car every year. Hanukkah has the same problems. Halloween is only really fun when you’re a kid or when you have little kids (don’t tell me that costume parties are that great, it’s just you drunk like you always are, except now you’re dressed like Sexy Yoda or something). “But Craig, Adam Sandler told me that Hanukkah has eight crazy nights of presents!” Listen, my mother is Jewish, so I’ve celebrated many a Festival of Lights and I can confirm what every little Jewish girl and boy is thinking to themselves as they read this: If you’re not rich, Hanukkah is one, MAYBE two nights of real gifts and six to seven nights of socks and school supplies. There’s nothing wrong with that, but from a present perspective, it’s just spread out Christmas. Anyhow, Thanksgiving.
I’m not going to tell you that I like it better than Christmas, because I dig them both and I love both gifts and stuffing. I probably like Christmas a little bit more but that’s a product of the coverage. Thanksgiving gets some leaves, a bunch of sales that end up ruining retailers abilities to enjoy the day, and a good Friends episode. “Christmas Season” basically starts halfway through Thanksgiving day and lasts until New Years Eve. It has a ton of classic movies, a ton of decorations, and is celebrated for two days by most people. It’s almost unfair, and in my extremely roundabout way, that’s what I’m here to say: Give Thanksgiving a chance!! Maybe I’m swayed by my friend’s monotone, yet very logically developed argument on behalf of turkey day, or maybe I’m just a sucker for the underdog, but let’s give Thanksgiving some more media folks!
I’m going to start with the obvious: Thanksgiving has a ton of family. Family yields characters; characters yield drama and comedy. They say that character should drive plot, well Thanksgiving gatherings give you a ton of characters to drive all over the place with! Next obvious jumping off point is the food. Why aren’t there more scripts being written about Thanksgiving at Italian restaurants, or family members cooking dueling turkeys? Food and family folks!! Gatherings! It’s all right there! We don’t even have to stray too far from what has already been done. We can do more “road trip to get home for Thanksgiving Dinner” movies like Dutch and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; they work and we’ve all been there. It’s not rocket surgery folks!
Let’s hit the less obvious now and talk about Thanksgiving Eve…the second biggest drinking night of the year! I did a lot of security in a lot of bars in my day, and Thanksgiving was one of two major “Amateur Nights’’ that we dealt with. Nights where people who don’t normally drink got bombed. Nights where kids came back from college looking to show off the drinking skills that they think they’ve developed. People are partying, people are puking, people are fighting, and people are falling in love for at least the evening. There’s so much plot to be mined from this night before the Turkey is sacrificed. It’s also a major “there’s no school tomorrow” day for people who can’t yet drink, and many adventures are had by teenagers who just want to somehow match the adventures their older siblings and friends are having. Listen, a lot of things can happen of T-Day Eve; I once started a car with a damned shoe whilst stuck on the streets of Greenwich Village! Unlike Christmas, it’s a night of adventure for everyone of adventuring age, not just those of us who don’t have families to spend time with. So much can happen, so why don’t we put more of it on screen!?!?
You guys get the point, I want to see Thanksgiving on screen more, so I will dispense with my habble-babble and let you get on with listening to the show, but first…I leave you with this:
At a surprise Fall programming meeting for NBC, SuperStore star America Ferrera and newly hired Sunday Night Football correspondent/ former National Football League Punter/All around character Pat Mcafee stumble upon the time machine that we all know is hidden in the bowels of the NBC-Universal lot. Thinking that it’s some sort of flight simulator, they jump in and are sent all the way back to the first Thanksgiving where they accidentally ruin the fabled sit-down dinner between The Pilgrims and The Native Americans when they interfere with the killing of the first Turkey. This is all unbeknownst to them and they return to the present to find that Thanksgiving no longer exists and that the world is an absolutely terrible place without this magical day of food and family. The streets are riddled with angry, emaciated people; no one gathers with family for any reason, and we are ruled by a race of ultra-intelligent Robo-Turkeys. Realizing the mistake they made, the two travel back in time and save Thanksgiving! They hunt the Alpha-Turkey themselves and bring the Pilgrims and the Natives back to the table to achieve peace! For doing so, elders from both sides imbue them with magical powers and they return to the present day ready to spread love and cheer and anti-turkey sentiment year after year for the rest of all time, plus they return to a world where Native Americans weren’t screwed out of their land! Bonus! Yes folks, they’ve become Pilgrim Pat MCafee and Native America Ferrera! They’re basically like double Santa Clauses… Santas Claus…Santa Cly? Anyhow, they’re the holiday mascots Thanksgiving needs to be totally legit! Sure, Native America Ferrera is almost insensitive, but it’s a joke, so please be nice to me. Their main powers are to teach people about Native American culture, cook turkey, and fly…because flight is dope. They don’t have costumes either, it’s just them in their regular clothes, and they just show up whenever someone’s Thanksgiving is in danger. If you’re wondering why they don’t teach kids about Pilgrim culture, it’s because I don’t really know what that is and I’m too lazy to Wikipedia it. So yeah…I’m going to quit while I’m behind. Go listen to the show and pretend I wrote something intelligent about cultural relations and our need for a new big budget Jim Thorpe movie, because that dude was awesome. So yeah, stick to the Jim Thorpe thing and enjoy Son In Law!