Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, reimagined 

Float On

click to enlarge kevwide.jpg


For the sake of being creative, I'll just say that a few years ago, in an alternate universe, I attended a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade hosted by The Exorcist star Linda Blair and Chuck Norris. One of the sections of this highly likely fictional parade was dedicated to movies that took place on Thanksgiving with balloons representing characters from the flicks. These were a few moments I recall from that magically made-up moment.

National Lampoon's Thanksgiving Family Reunion

The first balloon to bob down the road was the balloon that looked a lot like Hal Cleaver from Malcolm in the Middle and a slightly younger Walter White. That may have been because it was none other than Woodrow Snider, Bryan Cranston's hippie hick character from an almost funny TV movie with the words "National" and "Lampoon's" preceding the actual title. In this film, an anal retentive doctor named Mitch takes his family to a T-Day family dinner hosted by his long lost hippie cousin. It's supposed to be a comedy in the vein of those Griswold misadventures that we all know so well.

click to enlarge Yeah, Pauly Shore was a thing, and so was Son in law - COURTESY HOLLYWOOD PICTURES
  • Courtesy Hollywood Pictures
  • Yeah, Pauly Shore was a thing, and so was Son in law

Son In Law

Whoa. Hey buuuddy who is that freaky looking mid '90s fella with the swollen melon rounding the corner? Aw yeah it's everybody's favorite stonery party guy, Crawl! If you were ever an out-of-place Los Angeles college girl from South Dakota like Rebecca (Carla Gugino), you can't help have a little love for a weasley gent like Crawl. Yeah you may have initially have found him to be an emotionally stunted dolt that may have done one party favor too many but you can't help but be charmed by his forced eccentricities. Hell, those charms may lead you to uncork your butt a little and get a new, more edgy look (including a butterfly tat on your ankle!) thanks to Crawl's non-conformist MTV-influenced look before letting him endear himself to the fam.

click to enlarge PROVIDED
  • Provided

The Ice Storm

Oops. It seems like one of the floats is having a minor dysfunction. The Ben Hood float seems to be stuck in a stifling spot of mid '70s angst and melancholia that someone like director Ang Lee would be behind. Once they can get Ben (Kevin Kline) out of his miserable headspace, maybe the parade can keep on keeping on. Then again maybe when you're someone like Ben who is unhappy with his wife, Elana (Joan Allen), who for some strange reason isn't a fan of you boinking their neighbor Janey (Sigourney Weaver), and his pill popping, alcohol sipping kids maybe it's best just to hang back until your personal ice storm has subsided and allow a slightly less miserable balloon to go ahead of you.

click to enlarge It's the early 1990s, so naturally Ed O'Neill was cast to play in Dutch - COURTESY 20TH CENTURY FOX
  • Courtesy 20th Century Fox
  • It's the early 1990s, so naturally Ed O'Neill was cast to play in Dutch


Now that's a float I can jam my hand halfway into my pants to! It's the Ed O'Neill float! Nowadays you probably know of him better as Jay Pritchett from Modern Family than Married with Children's Al Bundy or his starring role in the John Hughes-penned film Dutch in which he plays the uncouth titular character that tries to ingratiate himself to his girlfriend's young snotty asshole son Doyle. Five years after another John Hughes Thanksgiving comedy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, the road trip the two take together will create a bond so tight that the float's frown may turn upside down before this day is over.

Pieces of April

When you're a post Dawson's Creek/pre-Tom Cruise Katie Holmes float, more than anything you want to do is to move away from the confines of weekly teen angst. You could play always play the lead in a murky shot on digital video film called Pieces of April. The title character, April Burns, a young woman living alone in New York City decides to host a Thanksgiving family dinner in her cramped dinger apartment even though she does not get along with her family in the slightest. The low budget dramedy was a surprise hit when it was released before Sundance Film Festival eyeballs.

The Facts of Life Reunion

How do you follow up a heavily mascaraed Katie Holmes deflating from her own broody quirks? You throw in the floating four quirky ladies: Blair, Natalie, Tootie, and their former headmistress Ms. Garrett repeatedly yelling "Ooooh no, girls!" The women were once in the 2001 film, The Facts of Life Reunion. Premiering on NBC a little over two months after 9/11, the made-for-TV movie was a sign of strange comfort. It was a personally calming moment where I realized things were slowly getting back to normal when we were no longer on as high of an alert as we were on the days immediately following the attacks. For a couple of hours, I became sucked into a shitty reunion film about the girls, sans one-time tough lady Jo Polniaczek, meeting up with Ms. Garrett in Peekskill, N.Y. Natalie's competing boyfriends randomly show up as do all their personal strifes. It wasn't a good movie but it was certainly better watching than that life-draining news footage.

click to enlarge Thankskilling has a killer turkey, 'nuff said - COURTESY IN BROAD DAYLIGHT FILMS
  • Courtesy In Broad Daylight Films
  • Thankskilling has a killer turkey, 'nuff said


What has been most striking about this parade is, despite a few momentary snags, how fast they've been going down through the busy N.Y. streets. It turns out there was a reason for all that fast movement thanks. Gobble gobble, motherfucker! It's Turkie, the homicidal Caucasian slaughtering turkey from the ThanksKilling films! Run to the hills floats! Run for your life!


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