This TBS turkey hard to swallow

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Holiday movies are a crapshoot. For every "Christmas Story" there are dozens of failures consigned to the coal bin of history. And it's time to make room on the pop-cultural trash pile for "National Lampoon's Thanksgiving Reunion" (7 p.m. Sunday, TBS). Only a masochist would watch this more than once.

Like many bad movies, "Lampoon" presents a clash of poorly drawn stereotypes. Judge Reinhold stars as Dr. Mitch Snider, an insecure Hollywood anesthesiologist.

Fueled by crude flatulence jokes and weighed down by Reinhold's pained facial expressions, this "Lampoon" comedy is nothing to be thankful for.

Plenty. But I'll begin and end with Eloise (Sofia Vassilieva). She may be a precocious imp on the page, but on screen she's a terror on the nerves -- not to mention the eardrums.

Eloise's over-the-top character seems better suited to a musical comedy (a la "Annie"). It also might work in shorter doses, as a half-hour cartoon show for the TV-Y set, say. Maybe I've lost touch with my inner child, but I found this full-length movie more grating than great.

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