thanksgiving

A Guide To Talking With Every Type Of Guest At Thanksgiving Dinner

Here are some pop culture topics to help make conversation with everyone at the dinner table. If they fail, there’s always liquor.

1. The Celebrity Obsessive

Def Jam Recordings / Via youtube.com

Well, there’s a lot to pick from here! How about Kanye and Kim’s video for “Bound 2,” or even James Franco and Seth Rogen’s shot-for-shot parody of it? Or Miley’s AMA kitty? How about Britney Spears’ latest album? And, of course, there’s always Jennifer Lawrence, a national treasure.

2. The Religious Conservative

Maybe they decry the violence and vulgarity of modern movies, but there’s no way your religious conservative relatives will be able to find fault in The Christmas Candle. It’s an uplifting, Christian-themed, family-friendly film that takes place more than 100 years ago and stars Susan Boyle, who, several years ago, stole the heart of every old person in the world. And, get this: It’s produced by none other than Rick Santorum.

Seriously, Santorum is now the CEO of a production company called EchoLight, which makes movies aimed squarely at the kind of people who supported his candidacy in the 2012 GOP primary.

Just don’t mention that the movie flopped!

3. The Animal Activist

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

First of all, Lady Gaga rode in on a horse at the AMAs on Sunday. It wasn’t a real horse, though, so the question is whether she’s a hero, or a sicko for making actual humans power the steed?

A new investigation in The Hollywood Reporter reveals that many animals have been harmed — and killed — on film shoots that were certified and approved by the American Humane Association, which gives that coveted “No Animals Were Harmed” seal.

For example, the real tiger in Life of Pi nearly drowned during a water shoot, while many animals just dropped dead during production of The Hobbit, and a horse died during the production of War Horse.

You may think twice about eating that turkey, too.

4. The Aging Hippie

Hulton Archive

They still rail against today’s consumer culture, but perhaps they won’t mind the innovation that went into the video for “Like a Rolling Stone,” which came out last week, 48 years after Bob Dylan originally released the seminal tune.

5. The Fashion Plate

Jason Kempin / Getty Images

Here’s a fun debate: Was Kanye West’s impassioned speech on Jimmy Kimmel Live last month an impassioned defense by a visionary designer, or the frustration of a celebrity who has had trouble breaking into an exclusive, inexplicable industry?

Also, what’d they think of these AMA looks?

6. The Tumblr Geek

BBC

It is an exciting time to be an active Anglophile reblogger. First, the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special came out last weekend, gathering a whole bunch of Doctors and sci-fi wackery. And, if that’s not enough, there is a new season of Sherlock on the docket, which is driving every Cumberbitch to the brink of pure bliss. Not to mention the new Hobbit movie, which boasts Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Benedict voicing a gigantic computer dragon named Smaug.

7. The Politico

NBC

Eager to avoid a dinner table explosion over Obamacare? How about Kanye’s disavowal of President Obama, or the “hip hop conservative” Rep. Trey Radel’s recent bust for cocaine?

Perhaps there’s room for a discussion of how much Benedict Cumberbatch looked like Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate?

8. The Bro

Paramount

And by bro, we don’t mean brother; we’re talking about the frat guy who will undoubtedly spend the day cursing at the TV during football and talking trash about his buddies from business school.

Luckily, there’s a little movie called Wolf of Wall Street on the way. The film — starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, and directed by Martin Scorsese — tells the story of master-swindler Jordan Belfort, who lived like a false king on stolen fortunes during the hey-day of shady finance and ponzi schemes. Like the misguided generational worship of Wall Street’s villain Gordon Gecko, DiCaprio as Belfort may elicit varied reactions, but at least the film, which from the trailers looks insane, will be a talking point!

9. The Sweet Grandparents

TWC

Suggest that they see Philomena, which stars Judi Dench as a wily retiree looking for the son that was stolen from her 50 years earlier. It’s getting rave reviews, and Dench is perfect.

Plus, they don’t have to be scandalized by the fact that the film has two f-bombs, because the MPAA gave the picture special permission to keep both the curses and its coveted PG-13 rating. Not that grandparents were going to have trouble getting into an R movie, of course, but still!

10. The Hipster

Jorge Adorno / Reuters

Talk about how much you love Justin Bieber, but be all ironic about it, so they start talking about how much they love Bieber, too.

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