I was out of town Monday, and decided to pay a visit to old friends in Texas. Just like seemingly every conversation we’ve had before, it started with our jobs, went to a little discussion on standup comedy and invariably ended on movies.
From October on to February, Hollywood has given us a smorgasbord of holiday-based movies, whether it’s some Halloween flick, a glut of Christmas movies (“The Ref” and “Die Hard” are my favorites), the rare Thanksgiving movie (“Trains, Planes and Automobiles” is the default winner) or the sentimental Valentine’s Day picture.
The industry is still filling in gaps, as I noted.” I assume you saw that there’s a movie about New Year’s Eve,” I said. “It’s called, “New Year’s Eve.”
My friend could only surmise that it was built exactly like another creatively-titled movie, “Valentine’s Day.” It’s likely an ensemble cast, each with their own small stories, and they’re only interconnected at the end.
“It’s the same as, “Love, Actually,’” he said, “which they might as well have just called, ‘Christmas.’” “But without that title,” I said, “I can’t make the joke that you actually love, ‘Love, Actually.’”
I think we’ve stumbled upon something, though. What if we did that style of movie, but didn’t just do the big holidays?
I’m sure somebody would watch the following movies:”
• Columbus Day: A movie where people go to work and do everything as usual, except they can’t use the bank or mail letters and they forget why.
• Martin Luther King Day: This could go many ways. You could tell the story of the opposition to the day’s creation in the first place. Perhaps it could be an uplifting story of change. Or it could be a call to action, and not just another day off.
• Labor Day: Everybody has a cookout and loves the four-day weekend, and spends the cookout blaming America’s deficit on labor unions that gave them the holiday, the 40-hour work week and weekends off in the first place.
• Flag Day: This could be an interesting documentary. What does the flag mean to the person who owns it? What’s the line between honoring the flag and making it an idol? We could look at exactly how much credence Americans should give to the Flag Code, which is not law and cannot be enforced.
• Tax Day: “The Simpsons” already did this, showing the difference between Ned Flanders and Homer Simpson. Ned filed his taxes on Jan. 1, while Homer was cheating left and right (“Okay, Marge, if anyone asks, you require 24-hour nursing care, Lisa’s a clergyman, Maggie is seven people, and Bart was wounded in Vietnam”).
• Arbor Day: We could probably skip this one.
So, with exception, we could tell a lot of holiday stories. We’d find out things about the holidays, and maybe something about ourselves. Now I must be going. I watched some cartoon, and now I have to go find toast and jelly beans for dinner tonight.