Monday: Beautiful Girls
While it’s easy to dismiss the late Ted Demme’s 1996 ensemble dramedy without a second thought, Beautiful Girls is a pretty charming and affable movie… as long as you can get past the “Sweet Caroline” sing-a-long. Matt Dillon, who will never be accused of being a great actor despite his ridiculous Oscar nomination for Crash, is oddly captivating here as the high school hero destined never to top his past glories. And it’s always nice to see a role for Timothy Hutton that allows him to tap into his best qualities as a performer: basic intelligence and believable indecision. At the very least, tune in to see Sam Robards (The Captain on Gossip Girl) play yet another sniveling weasel. [Encore, 7:05 p.m.]
We won’t sit here and say that Stripes is a forgotten Bill Murray performance (that would be his work in Kingpin), but as John Winger, slacker extraordinaire, Mr. Murray has rarely been funnier. The problem with Stripes, when compared with the other movies on his resume, is that it isn’t actually any good. Do you even remember the drawn out third act, when the ragtag group of soldiers steal a souped-up military RV and, oh… who cares? Still, Stripes will make you laugh, and we’re almost positive you’ll spend the rest of the day humming Elmer Bernstein’s bombastic theme song. [Cinemax, 8 p.m.]
Wednesday: Rosie Live!
Love her or hate her (and we kinda love her), you have to give Rosie O’Donnell credit: the woman is an expert self-promoter. Just a week before her return to television, she managed to get back into the media spotlight by starting a fight with former View co-host Barbara Walters. Well done, Rosie! The (hilarious) promos for Ms. O’Donnell’s primetime variety show promise “comedy, music and stars!” An expected appearance by Liza Minnelli should take care of all three. [NBC, 8 p.m.]
Thursday: Arrested Development Marathon
On Thanksgiving, it’s good to remember that the most important thing is breakfast… err, family. While you’re busy eating turkey and navigating your way through the day’s various awkward moments, why not spend some time with the Bluth’s? G4 is running a marathon of Arrested Development‘s first season, and though we’re partial to the completely bananas season two, you can’t really go wrong with any it. Try to sneak away before the pumpkin pie to watch “The Best Man for the GOB” at 6 p.m. To paraphrase Buster, that episode is off-the-hook. [G4, starting at 9 a.m.]
Is it really that hard to program a cable channel? Apparently, yes. The day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas season and the only holiday themed movie we can find is Elf. Ba-humbug! Don’t get us wrong, Jon Favreau’s goofy film is pretty adorable–Will Ferrell’s wide eyed insouciance is a perfect match for James Caan’s Grinch-like demeanor–but we’d rather be watching It’s a Wonderful Life, Scrooged, Christmas Vacation or even Die Hard. [USA, 7 p.m.]