Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and the best thing about it—really the only good thing, frankly—is that it affords an opportunity to stuff your face with gravy and stuff your eyes with James Bond.
Christmas comes with all sorts of cultural prescriptions. Watch It’s A Wonderful Life. Drink egg nog. Read something adorable that’s features bountiful rolls of bouncing Santafat. From the start of the advent, your free time will be accounted for. But nog aside, Christmas demands much less in the way of menu planning. It’s Christmas—eat a turkey, maybe? A goose? Each year, my mom makes a big salty country ham. It’s goddamned beautiful.
Compare that to Thanksgiving, which has an endless list of culinary commands, but not much culturally to suggest. Watch football, maybe? Play Monopoly with your weird cousin? Sit?
It’s that laxness that makes what passes for Thanksgiving culture much more interesting, the same way that a Christmas menu is almost certainly going to be more palatable than its gravy-doused cousin. The fact is that there are Thanksgiving movies—they just might not have anything to do with Thanksgiving.
Because James Bond movies are typically released around this time of year, I associate the November holiday with a protracted gorging on the finer works of Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton and—yes god damn it, George Lazenby. (Seriously—best Bond theme, best Bond chase scene—On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.) Bond movies are a near-perfect analogue for Thanksgiving. Even the best of them are overrated, overblown and incoherent. Those of us who have already finished our cooking for the week could probably, if we were bored enough, track which Bond is which component of a classic Thanksgiving spread. Let’s go there now!
You want to read more? Oh yes. Oh yes you do.