This is a transcription of ‘SSoP Podcast: A Mini-Episode to Wish You A Cozy and Happy Thanksgiving’
David: Hello! Welcome to a special edition of Strong Sense of Place that celebrates Thanksgiving.
Melissa: A.k.a., my favorite holiday.
David: We recorded this podcast last year for our Patrons and are sharing it with all of you this year in the hopes it will fill you with happy holiday vibes.
Melissa: Right! We can’t hand you a piece of homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream, so we’re giving you a nice story instead.
David: Hello. Welcome to a special patron only episode of Strong Sense of Place. Today we’re getting curious about the intersection of pumpkin pie and strained family relationships.
Melissa: That is a terrible way to describe my favorite holiday, Dave. Thanksgiving is the best.
David: Thanksgiving is a lovely holiday.
Melissa: It’s a day devoted to eating.
Melissa: And relaxing.
David: And gratitude.
Melissa: Right. And gratitude, right? Definitely gratitude.
David: I like gratitude —
Melissa: But eating.
Melissa: And relaxing.
Melissa: And also gratitude.
David: And also gratitude. And it’s hard to go wrong with those things.
Melissa: And every year, yeah, we watch the movie Home for the Holidays.
David: We do.
Melissa: Which in my humble opinion is the definitive Thanksgiving movie.
David: I agree. I mean, what what even competes with that?
Melissa: I don’t know. Are there other Thanksgiving movies?
David: Yeah. Well, what about —
Melissa: Oh, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is also a Thanksgiving movie. Yeah, that’s also a very good film.
David: What about Dan in Real Life? Is that a Thanksgiving movie?
Melissa: It’s not, but it feels like it.
David: It just feels like it is.
Melissa: Yes. Yeah. Anyway, back to Home for the Holidays. Let’s talk about who’s in Home for the Holidays!
Melissa: Your girlfriend, Holly Hunter.
David: I love Holly Hunter. She’s awesome. She is particularly awesome in this movie. She has this sort of right level of ‘I love these people. And also they are mortifying to me,’ which I think is exactly where she wants to be for this. But she’s also she’s fantastic. And everything I’ve seen her in.
Melissa: There’s Robert Downey, Jr.
David: We kind of have a mid-drug phase Robert Downey Jr, really playing into that.
Melissa: Yes. His performance has kind of an erratic energy, which is awesome.
Melissa: Their parents are played by Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning.
David: Who are both lovely and awesome.
Melissa: Yes. And then there’s Dylan McDermott, who plays a love interest. And we won’t say more than that in case you haven’t seen it, because we don’t want to spoil it.
Melissa: And then Claire Danes plays Holly Hunter’s donor. I mean, this is an amazing cast.
David: Yeah. Claire Danes is in it for like 5 minutes. She does a really nice job and she gets out of the way.
Melissa: And it’s directed by Jodie Foster. Amazing.
David: Which was kind of weird for me because I pictured Jodie Foster as being like, you know, sort of Hollywood elite. But here she comes with this story that’s very down home, Main Street, USA story, and it’s told just impeccably.
Melissa: Yeah. So the story is Holly Hunter is coming home for Thanksgiving weekend.
Melissa: And it is fraught with tension and family history and lots of humor. But also, like, you’re laughing and then the very next minute, your eyes are stinging and there’s an enormous lump in your throat.
David: Yeah, it’s a romcom at its heart, but it’s got it feels like it’s got a little more depth than most romcoms for me.
Melissa: And it’s based on a short story from the book Home for the Holidays and Other Calamities by Chris Radant. Sadly that book is out of print.
David: Yeah, you can’t get it anywhere.
Melissa: No, I tried. Yeah. I mean, I think you can get a weird mass market paperback copy on Amazon. The Internet Archive has a full scanned copy. I will link to that.
David: Oh, nice.
Melissa: I love this story. As a thank you gift from us to all of you, we have recorded our own little audiobook.
David: Yeah, we made a little audiobook for you.
Melissa: Home for the Holidays by Chris Radiant.
David: Yeah, Happy holidays. And I hope your Thanksgiving is better than the one that Mel’s about to describe.
David: [fake deep voice] This is Strong Sense of Place. Home for the Holidays by Chris Radant. Read by Melissa Joulwan.
For the text of the story, visit the Internet Archive: https://bit.ly/3hVgfzW.
David: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, From our house to yours. We hope you have a lovely, lovely holiday season.
Top image courtesy of Alexander Raths/Shutterstock.
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