Before we get to our Thanksgiving recap, we do have an obituary: it’s time to say farewell to oneof film and TV’s great comedic talents. Much loved actor Leslie Nielsen passed away this weekend. The Canadian star of Airplane! and the Naked Gun series also appeared in more than 50 feature films. He will always be remembered for his deadpan delivery and uncanny comic timing (both of which are frequently imitated all over the place ). He leaves behind several wives and children, a lasting legacy, and we wish a special goodbye to one of the big screen’s funniest gentlemen.
And now we head to Thanksgiving, since it’s just happened and I’m wondering if everyone got enough to eat, got enough sleep, got enough football, and the big question: how many people Googled the word “Tryptophan”. Here’s hoping you had an awesome holiday …and a relaxing one. I got super lucky and had both; I got to spend a few days North of Los Angeles up on the Central Coast of California. Which got me thinking about how wildly impressed we are with Europe. Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s utterly magical. But here’s the what. You know how everyone talks wistfully and longingly about the Amalfi Coast? Or how spectacular it is to behold the Mediterranean? Or this or that dramatic coastline or ancient hilltop where such-and-such a monarchy was reclaimed? I know it’s true, the geography gets totally romanticized in movies, and Europe boasts some of the most astonishing scenery around, but I also think that sometimes we give the old US of A a teensy bit of short shrift. In fact, I’d have to say that the Big Sur coastline rivals – and in some respects – surpasses many of the globe’s premiere destinations. It can hold its own – and then some – up against any of those other hotspots. Don’t want to get all maybe-what-you’re-looking-for-is-right-under-your-nose, but the next time someone says “Let’s go to Europe” or “Let’s leave the country for some real sights” you might want to say “Or perhaps we should check out some US gems like Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula”. Okay, that’s enough travel writing (which is by the way, something which I never really understood. Who likes books that describe a place when a photo would do the trick? That’s a huge industry I could never fathom. Why read about someplace you’re not in, when you can read about movies or music that you can watch and play immediately? That’s my thinking.) Maybe this is because upon my return from an idyllic Thanksgiving sojourn I happened to catch Eat, Pray, Love. I’d had a terrible time with the book and thought the author was spoiled and clueless about how fortunate she was. I also thought that when you do go to someplace like Italy, you might devote just a smidge more time (like maybe 2% at most) to the architecture instead of always always writing and talking about pasta and gelato. But again, that’s just me. So when the film itself came out I believed it would be little more than a Whiny Me-Hicle for Julia Roberts (whom I love). Which – having seen it now, it is. Maybe if she’d just gone up to Big Sur when her charmed life went south she wouldn’t have had to do so much eating and praying. Think of the miles she’d have saved.
Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of the late great Leslie Nielsen films is your favorite:
2) The Naked Gun
3) The Naked Gun 2 1/2
4) The Naked Gun 33 1/3