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Six entertaining ideas for the Thanksgiving weekend

Whether you want to bust out of the kitchen or just lounge on the couch, Rebecca Ascher-Walsh offers her don’t-miss tips

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Six entertaining ideas for the Thanksgiving weekend

Four days to do nothing! But you have to admit, sometime between the football and the Butterball — maybe Friday afternoon — there comes a craving to actually remove yourself from the couch. Seize the brief moment and head out to the theaters, where Hollywood, in all its holiday finery, awaits you.

There is, of course, Ahhhnold’s new flick, ”End of Days,” which is ridiculous fun. Rumored to have cost about $180 million to make, there’s a good $100 million apparent on the screen, with impressive F/X and a nifty turn from Gabriel Byrne as the devil. If you don’t want to wait on line, there are wonderful, smaller movies out there you’ll be so glad you’ve seen. Check out ”Boys Don’t Cry,” a beautiful and haunting story based on the true story of Teena Brandon, a woman who passed as a man in Nebraska (star Hillary Swank is sure to get an Oscar nod). And even if Jane Austen fare usually makes you want to rip your fingernails out, you might like ”Mansfield Park,” which is witty and sardonic.

But should you decide that you can’t be bothered to move from your perch, stock up on a few wonderful books that have come out just in time for you to play entranced couch potato. Ronan Bennett’s ”The Catastrophist” is a kind of ”English Patient”-cum-politics set in the Belgian Congo; ”Disgrace,” by the South African writer J.M Coetzee, who wrote ”Waiting for the Barbarians,” is the small and artfully written tale of a middle-aged man reforging a relationship with his adult daughter; Ha Jin’s ”Waiting,” which just won the National Book award, is a love story set in communist China that will likely knock your socks off. So keep your feet up, your stomach full, and enjoy!