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Ceasefire Between Israel and Hamas Continues; Protests Continue in Egypt; Actor Larry Hagman Dies; Former Boxer Hector Camacho Dies; Chef Survives Cancer Five Times; U.S. Real Estate Market Improving; Movie Critics Assesses Holiday Films; Authors Discuss 20-Somethings in America

Aired November 24, 2012 - 14:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. It's the top of the hour. You're in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Thanks so much for joining us.

Here are the stories making the headlines right now. A fire breaks out today at the U.S. State Department in Washington. Four people injured, one of them critically.

Let's go live now to Washington and CNN's Athena Jones. What do we know?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. We're a few blocks away from the state department here at the White House. I can tell you there's still a lot of questions about this. There was a flash fire in the duct work at the State Department.

This is according to a D.C. fire department official. The fire started at around 11:04 a.m. as construction workers were performing work on the state department's premises. That fire has been put out. As you said, there were four people who were injured, one of them critically. Three of them were transferred to a hospital here. Two are in serious condition. One is in life-threatening condition. And so we're still waiting to hear more about this -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Athena, keep us posted throughout the afternoon. Thanks so much.

Iconic 12 actor Larry Hagman has died. He was best known for playing one of television's great bad guys, J.R. Ewing, you remember him on the primetime television series of "Dallas." Off-screen, though, Hagman he was known as being larger than life and his co-stars remembering him as fun, wild, and memorable. Hagman died yesterday of complications from cancer. Colleen McEdwards takes a look at his life and legacy.


COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Larry Hagman wore many hats in his career, but is best known for the Stetson that he wore on "Dallas." Despite roles on film and on stage, Hagman will always be remembered as the villainous J.R. Ewing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you drove Cliff to attempt suicide?

HAGMAN: How was I to know he was going to do a dumb thing like that?

MCEDWARDS: When J.R. was shot by an unknown assailant, it became one of the most famous cliffhangers in TV history, watched by 300 million people from all around the world. Hagman never expected the show to endure.

HAGMAN: I just started the show doing six shows. I never thought I would do 300.

MCEDWARDS: In fact, the "Dallas" franchise was so successful, the series was recently reprised. The U.S. network TNT brought it back with a new generation of Ewings, and Hagman came back, too, returning as J.R. once again. Critics say he was the best thing about "Dallas." But explaining the character's appeal, Hagman once said "The time is right for a real bad guy, and I'm it."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have a good day, master.

HAGMAN: Oh, I'm going to have a wonderful day, Jeannie.

MCEDWARDS: It was a good guy who Larry Hagman blasted into people's living rooms, playing astronaut tony nelson on "I Dream of Jeannie." The show was a hit in the 1960s and is still popular in syndication.

Even as a kid, Hagman orbited in show biz, as the son of "Peter Pan" star Mary martin, his movie roles included "Up the Cellar" and "Harry and Tonto."

It was only after milking a huge contract from the producers of "Dallas" that Hagman became immensely wealthy. He had houses, he had cars, he had vices. Two of them included drinking and smoking. He smoked for 24 years, gave it up, and became an anti-smoking activist and spokesman for the American Cancer Society.

HAGMAN: I met at least 30 or 40 people that said they quit because of my personal involvement, which makes me feel really good.

MCEDWARDS: He stopped drinking in 1995 when he was diagnosed with liver cancer and underwent a life-saving transplant.

HAGMAN: If we won in Vietnam, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

MCEDWARDS: In recent years, Hagman appeared on the big screen in films like "Nixon" and "Primary Colors." But it is his role as the charming and conniving oil man that audiences will never forget.

Colleen McEdwards, CNN, Atlanta.


WHITFIELD: Fans and former co-stars of the Hollywood legend have been reacting all morning to his passing. CNN's Kareen Wynter is live at Larry Hagman's star at the Hollywood walk of fame. What's being said, Kareen? KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just well wishes, condolences. People, the celebrity community, even fans who have been coming by here at the star to pay tribute have been reflected on the life of this legendary actor. You can see the first flower, Fred, that was just placed here by a Larry Hagman fan. People have been coming by and taking pictures at his star.

A couple hours from now, 1:00 p.m. local time, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce which handles the walk of fame are going to place a star in honor of Hagman who was honored with the star back in September 1981, next to his late mother, actress Mary Martin.

And you know, the outpouring of support, my goodness, where do we start with that? From his co-stars, people who worked with Larry Hagman. Linda Gray tweeted earlier, "So sad to lose such a wonderful, dear, bigger than life friend. Larry Hagman was one of a kind and will be with us forever." Patrick Duffy, also one of Hagman's co-stars in the original "Dallas" and also the recent remake of "Dallas," he wrote, "My friend is taking a break. Pardon my silence. Love, Patrick."

And one from Barbara Eden who starred with Larry Hagman in "I Dream of Jeannie" back the '60s. She wrote this, "Amidst a whirlwind of big laughs, big smiles, and unrestrained personality, Larry was always simply Larry. You couldn't fault him for it. It was just who he was."

So it's a time of reflection, a time of paying tribute. It's quite touching to hear people, strangers walking by and reflecting on his great legacy and sharing their memories. Things they remembered most from "Dallas" and "I Dream of Jeannie." So it's a big day here in Hollywood, a huge loss, but a time of remembrance, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Kareen Wynter, thanks so much in Hollywood.

So in the year 2000 that Larry Hagman, as well as co-star Linda Gray, appeared on LARRY KING LIVE. We're going to take you back now.


LARRY KING, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The chemistry between you two was supposed to be what? Loving or not loving?

HAGMAN: Loving but love-hate. She hated me and I loved her.

LINDA GRAY, ACTRESS: Stop. I adored you.

KING: What was the chemistry supposed to be?

HAGMAN: Nobody knew. All she ever said was, "You want coffee or milk or tea?" Literally. So we get behind the scene, there would be a major scene, and we start to bicker with each other. I woke up this morning, there was no button on my overcoat, what are you going to do? We would go back and forth. And they would push into us in the background, and we had this scenery written, and that started to catch on.

KING: You started as a minor character? GRAY: I was never to be a major character at all.

HAGMAN: I was a coffee, tea, and milk guy as well.

KING: Who were the major characters?

GRAY: Victoria and Bobby. Patrick.


WHITFIELD: So Larry King bringing them together there on that set, and Larry King joining us right now on the phone. So, Larry, just looking at the dynamic of Linda Gray and Larry Hagman on set there, it's almost as if, you know, they weren't acting ever. It seems like they really were a couple. They were just so in sync with one another.

KING (via telephone): Strangely enough, I had them together about a month ago on my show on aura TV. We were on Hulu. They looked fine. I thought he looked terrific. They were planning to do the second season of "Dallas." I go back a long way with Larry. He was a partner of mine. He tried to get me to stop smoking. It took him a couple years later for me to do it.

I had him on the show many times. I appeared in a movie with him in "Primary Colors," interviewed him on my old radio show, on CNN, and recently. I had no idea he was so sick. Also did a show with him about his wife who has Alzheimer's. He was an incredible figure. He was a mainstay in Hollywood and did a lot of great things and did a movie with Henry Fonda about going to war with Russia. He had -- he had a lot of ingredients to him. Larry Hagman was not just the star of "Dallas."

WHITFIELD: And I think people forget about that, and, sadly, this is the kind of moment when people are reminded how powerful a person or how far-reaching they are, sadly at their passing. You talked about how he was a big advocate of trying to kick the habit, trying to get you to kick the habit. He tried to help so many others. You forget about the "I Dream of Genie." He was in "Nixon" as well as well as playing J.R., which was the big iconic character that I think everyone really remembers. I think most people think he kind of embodied J.R. how different from J.R. was he, since you knew him?

KING: He was very different, Fredricka. Another thing about him, he was intense. Like on the smoking thing, when -- he had the day, my birthday many years ago, he called me. I didn't smoke al that day, and he would call me every half hour. I was in Washington. He was in L.A. he was persistent. He would go around with a little fan, a little fan, if you smoked, he blew the fan at you.

WHITFIELD: To try to blow out the cigarette?

KING: No, to blow the smoke back in your face.


KING: He was manic on that topic. But he was very easy going, Fredricka. You would have liked him. When he walked into the room, the room kind of changed. He made everything easy. He was extraordinarily easy to be around. He was a cool guy. He never showed the pain that he had with his wife, with Alzheimer's. She's in an Alzheimer's hospital. He would visit her a lot. He was -- he's -- it's going to be sad. See those eyes?

WHITFIELD: Yes. What a testament to his acting, to his craft that so much could be going on in his personal life and no one would ever know it when they would see him on screen really kind of emote who that character is that he's playing.

KING: That's what acting is. And he was good at it.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And what do you suppose might happen then to this reprisal of "Dallas," because it would seem, you know, without J.R., without Larry Hagman, you don't really have "Dallas." And I'm sure they're thinking of how they move on. But, as you mentioned, they were going to be going into their second season. They have already taped a number of segments ready to air. One has to wonder how they're going to close out his role in the new "Dallas."

KING: My guess would be what they do on soap operas they will do on "Dallas" and they will have him die. They'll probably write a very good script, an emotional script to have J.R. pass on. That's the way they do it. And I think that would be probably the right way to do it.


KING: Do a closing script. I don't see how the show could go on without him. But that would basically be a good way to end it. And I think it would be permissible I think. I think everyone would be happy with that kind of show, kind of a tribute show in fiction.

WHITFIELD: Yes. All right, Larry King, thanks so much on the memory of Larry Hagman, dead at the age of 81, a real icon.

Another icon in sports, Hector "Macho" Camacho, he is dead. The former boxing champ was taken off life support today by his family. Camacho was shot in the face outside a bar near San Juan Tuesday night. His condition worsened quickly, and two days later he was declared critically brain dead.

And concerns of a lackluster economy sure aren't evident this weekend.




WHITFIELD: Shoppers screaming and turning out in big numbers to the stores on black Friday, leading many analysts to believe post- Thanksgiving sales will surpass last year's numbers after all perhaps. Online sales are also up a whopping 21 percent on black Friday. And then there's power ball fever, and it's spreading across the country. The lottery jackpot is now $325 million. That's the fourth largest jackpot in the game's history. So if you're feeling optimistic, you have until 10:00 p.m. eastern tonight to buy that $2 ticket.

And overseas now to Egypt, where opposition to President Mohamed Morsi is growing. For a third straight day, protesters hit the streets demanding Morsi rescind a decree that gives him unlimited power. We get more now from Reza Sayah in Cairo.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Outrage, clashes, and anguish in Tahrir, thousands of angry Egyptians back in a public square that has become the Arab world's emblem for the democratic right to protest. This was where Egyptians demanded the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak last year. This time, the fury aimed at current president Mohammed Morsi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here because we don't want him to rule us anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a one-man show. He wants to do everything. This is nothing at all what we want.

SAYAH: On Thursday, the new Islamist president made himself the most powerful man in Egypt by announcing sweeping decrees he says are designed to push forward the drafting of Egypt's new constitution and speed up the formation of a government that still is missing a parliament.

Whether it causes anyone to overturn any of the declarations, that's the same place the parliament is born. Technically, it means for now he can do whatever he wants without any oversight.

RIHAM HAMZA, PROTESTING MORSI'S DECREES: I just felt he was telling us, you guys don't exist. It's just me and my people, and there's no place for anybody else in Egypt.

RAGY SOLIMAN, PROTESTING MORSI'S DECREES: We're not allowing for a dictatorship again -- 30 years of dictatorship is enough. Egypt is not going into dictatorship once again.

SAYAH: In a separate decree, Morsi banned the breakup of the constitutional assembly, the 100-member panel assigned to draft Egypt's new constitution.

Protesters here say the panel favors Islamist factions and ignores demands by liberals, Christians, youth groups, and women's rights groups. Some have sued to dissolve the panel. Morsi's decree forbids that.

As nightfall approached, anger turned to violence. In scenes similar to the Egyptian revolution, protesters clashed with police. We're right along one of the major arteries leading into Tahrir Square, clashes between security forces and protesters, tear gas. And we're moving away.

As the protests intensified, Mr. Morsi appealed for calm. In a speech to hundreds of his supporter who gathered outside the presidential palace in Cairo he defended his decrees and rejected accusations of a power grab.

MOHAMMED MORSI, EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT, (via translator): I didn't take a decision against anyone or pick a side against another. I have to put myself in a clear path, a path that achieves a clear goal.

SAYAH: Several hours after his speech, his critics were still out here in Tahrir Square, protesting throughout the night, setting the stage for what seems to be an intensifying faceoff between the president and his opponents.


WHITFIELD: And Reza Sayah is joining us live now in Tahrir Square or near it. Reza, is there any indication that President Morsi is hearing this sentiment and is in any way indicating that he is willing to kind of revise that new order he put into place?

SAYAH: No, no indication that he's going to back down. But protesters and opposing factions don't look like they're backing down either. We know the protests and the demonstrations are happening. But today what we saw is a number of moves and meeting rooms and decisions announced in press conferences by opposing factions designed to apply political pressure on Mr. Morsi. The latest is an announcement of a nationwide judges' strike announced just a couple of hours ago. This could have the potential to disrupt a lot of things if it continues for a long time.

Of course, Mr. Morsi's decrees seem to weaken the judiciary. This was a way they answered back. Also today, opposing factions announcing a one million man protest scheduled for Tuesday. What does Mr. Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party do? They call for a one million man protest, too, also scheduled for Tuesday, Fredricka. Critical times for this country.

WHITFIELD: All right, Reza Sayah, thank you so much in Cairo.

Here in the states, the focus, retail shopping. But perhaps you hate the crowds. Retailers are drawing in online shoppers with staggering online deals. So what will this mean for cyber-Monday? We'll ask our own experts straight ahead.

And he's an award-winning chef, but this man's bigger accomplishment is beating cancer five times. Dr. Sanjay Gupta finds out how he's giving back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: All right, here's what's happening around the world right now. In northwest Pakistan, people are reeling after a bomb blast killed eight people near a Shiite Muslim procession. Police say four boys were killed and 30 others injured. The Taliban is claiming responsibility.

The truce is holding between Hamas and Israel after eight days of fighting. Palestinian students were now feeling free enough to walk back to school. And with Israeli troops retreated from the border, Hamas officials have announced the restriction on Palestinian fishermen has been loosened as part of the ceasefire deal. Fishermen are now permitted to head out six miles offshore rather than just three.

In Syria, rebels claim they have overrun a key base west of Aleppo and purged the Assad regime from a whole swath of land near the Iraqi border. But the killing continues. According to a major opposition group, 32 people have been killed across Syria today.

Here in the states, the focus is retail shopping. Black Friday may be history, but the hunt for bargains is far from over. That's because we've still got cyber Monday ahead of us. And it looks like it could be the busiest ever. Trish Regan is the host of "Street Smart" on Bloomberg TV. Good to see you.

TRISH REGAN, HOST, "STREET SMART": Good to see you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: I know we don't know exactly how well the retailers did on black Friday, especially since many of them started on Thursday. Numbers are going to trickle in throughout the weekend. But I tell you, if you decided not to go to the store, you could have gotten some great deals online, which seems like it would undermine the whole cyber Monday thing. What's going on here?

REGAN: Well, I think you could and still can get great deals online. A lot of retailers ran some really terrific specials. They started them, Fredricka, on Thursday. They ran them Friday. They're still running them throughout the weekend. So of course, if you're someone who is really like me, maybe you aren't so crazy about shopping with big lines and hordes of people, yes, it makes sense to do it online because the same deals, in fact, in many cases, better deals exist then.

Fredricka, a lot of people did. If you look at the traffic numbers that we have seen already online, they're pretty significant. In fact, Wal-Mart said that nearly half of all online sales were coming from mobile devices. So don't forget mobiles suddenly being something that is very much in play. People shopping on their iPhones, on their smartphones or tablets.

WHITFIELD: All of this has changed the game of shopping. It changes the way of advertising. Retailers must be very encouraged about this year's holiday season. Are they?

REGAN: I think retailers are somewhat encouraged, but they're still skeptical because you have a consumer who has been under a lot of pressure, right? I mean, unemployment still being as high as it is, there's some optimism with stabilization in the housing market and people have paid off a lot of debt in part because they had to. Credit card companies are not allowing them or extending as much credit to them.

So there's a little more purchasing power on behalf of consumers, and retailers are hoping to bank on that. But as you pointed out, it's a very, very competitive environment. So they have to stay on top of things. They have to be offering the best deals. They have to get people to their sites and stores. And I don't think they're willing to really, you know, count their chickens before they hatch, so to speak.

WHITFIELD: Then a flipside to all of this, are any retailers taking a hit given there were so many protesters, employees who walked out of the store saying we don't like the idea of working on Thanksgiving Day or demanding better wages? Did it appear in any way that, I mean, the sales went on, but does it appear in any way the retailers have taken a hit or fallen out of favor with some consumers?

REGAN: Wal-Mart has said that the strikes were rather insignificant for their businesses. They said that they really didn't see a tremendous number of people striking. They didn't see a real major difference in terms of foot traffic or sales at those stores where workers were striking. So right now they're downplaying that.

It remains to be seen, because, you know, I think it's natural if you're a shopper and someone is striking outside and you have to get through a strike line before you're going to go in, you may be tempted to go somewhere else, Target, for example, where that may not be happening. So you might look to competitors. You might look online again. It gets back to this online business.

You know, you brought something up earlier in the conversation, what would we see for cyber Monday? And would people have really spent everything over the weekend? It's a really good question, because thanksgiving is also falling at an earlier time this year. The question is, how much spending power do people have? Will they just continue to spend throughout the season or are they doing it all in one chunk? It's a good question. I think retailers are hopeful they can get people to keep coming into the stores, but you know, people don't have more relatives, and they don't necessarily have more money to spend.

WHITFIELD: Right, OK. And sometimes you just get caught in the moment. Trish Regan, thanks so much, of Bloomberg TV, appreciate it. Happy shopping whenever and however you choose to do it.

REGAN: You, too.

WHITFIELD: All right, the FBI checking off a fugitive from its top ten most wanted list for alleged murders and heinous acts to the mother of his child. We'll tell you where they tracked him down.

And you may know this chef as the winner of the reality show "Chopped," but he's also a five-time cancer survive. See what he's doing to pay it forward. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Few people can say they have survived cancer five times. In this week's "Human Factor," chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta profiles a chef who has decided to take that luck and pay it forward.


LEVINE: I'm the executive chef in New Jersey.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Eric LeVine got off to a rocky start on the Food Network's "Chopped," but the fact he showed up to compete at all defined resilience in the face of adversity.

LEVINE: The night before I had the chemo radiation treatment, I found out I had six to eight months to go. At that moment it was like a light bulb went off. It was, wow, look at the opportunities I have. Most people would give their soul to have what I have.

GUPTA: Eric survived the chopping block and he won $10,000. But more importantly, he's now survived cancer five times. He was first diagnosed when he was just 29-years-old.

LEVINE: After I had the cancer for the fifth time, I wanted to have something to remind me every day of life. So the five on the outside represents the five times I have beaten cancer, and the "I am" to the first power is the indestructible master of one that I have, that if you take responsibility for your actions and what you do in life, you pass it on to one person every day.

Good afternoon, ladies. How are you enjoying your dining experience so far?

GUPTA: Levine, who is now 43, is using his newfound celebrity to inspire and push others to reach their full potential. He begins in his own kitchen.

LEVINE: Throughout the kitchen we have different phrases or different signs of different things that I think is kind f important to our well-being of the kitchen, the mindset of the kitchen. The stems cut off, we'll use that --

GUPTA: Levine shares his culinary and cancer survival experience at events held at his restaurant as well as lending his time to the American Cancer Society.

LEVINE: I'm paying it forward and it's a good cause, the American Cancer Society.

GUPTA: In the end, he says fight the fight. Do what you love every day, and, above all, have some fun.

LEVINE: I think the fun factor is what it's about, besides the Hokey Pokey. The Hokey Pokey obviously is what it's about, but I look at me and go, OK, I get it. I'm not winning any, you know, sexiest men of the year awards, but I'm the happiest person on the universe.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


WHITFIELD: And home sales are heating up. Are you ready to jump in? Bye or sell? We have tips to help you through it.


WHITFIELD: Here's what's trending on the web right now. Tributes from the entertainment world are coming in after the death of actor Larry Hagman, the villain star of the TV series "Dallas." TV producer Simon Cowell tweeted "Very sad to hear about Larry Hagman. He was the best TV baddy. From people who met him, all said he was a great guy." And "Star Trek's" William Shatner tweeted this, "My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Larry Hagman. My best, Bill."

And one of Sesame Street's Emmy Award winning directors has died. Emily Squires was 71. She also wrote for the soap operas "Search for Tomorrow," "Guiding Light," and "As the World Turns."

And did you know that one in five men have private e-mail accounts? That's according to a recent study by an internet security company. The reasons range from hiding financial problems to corresponding with an ex or current lover. Just a few things trending.

All right, home sales are starting to get back on track. That, too, is kind of trending. And if you're thinking of jumping into the market, we have some tips to help make you a little bit smarter about buying or selling.

Plus, if you're having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit, our movie critic shares her favorite heartwarming holiday films.


WHITFIELD: The housing market has been showing signs of life for a few months now. And it looks like that could keep going right into the new year. So is it a good time to buy, to sell? Michael Corbett is the author of several real estate books, including "Before you Buy." He joins me now from Philadelphia. Hi, Michael. Good to see you.

MICHAEL CORBETT, REAL ESTATE EXPERT: Nice to see you. How are you?

WHITFIELD: So quite the turn around, huh? People should be excited or inspired that the housing market is now moving in kind of the green zone.

CORBETT: In a positive direction. No way are we in recovery, but what I like to say is there's a light at the end of the tunnel.


WHITFIELD: Good, we like those lights. CORBETT: Right now, we have seen some actually nice numbers, according to the National Association of Realtors. What is going on right now is that we had an increase of 2.1 percent over last month on actual sales, and a whopping 10.9 percent increase from last year. The median sale prices nationally have gone up 11.1 percent over last year. That's a really nice indicator.

WHITFIELD: OK, those are good numbers. So say you're thinking of jumping into the market as a buyer, give me three things, three really important things that we need to consider right now before making a purchase.

CORBETT: OK, number one is buy a house you can afford. Please. It sounds so simple, but it's really true. There used to be something called a starter home. People forgot about that during the housing bubble. They jumped over the starter home and ended up in their dream home in a house they couldn't afford. So make sure that you buy something that's within your means.

Second, put 20 percent down. You know that whole concept of no money down? Gone. You need to have money to buy a house.

WHITFIELD: Everyone is requiring 20 percent now, right?

CORBETT: Pretty much, yes absolutely, most conventional, yes, most conventional banks now are going to demand that anyway. That's a really important thing. Be ready for that.

Next, you want to get your own financial house in order, which means get your money together, know how much you have. Also, check your credit scores way ahead of time because if you have a problem, it takes a long time to fix, and go ahead and get prequalified, because you can know then how much house you really can afford to buy.

WHITFIELD: OK, and then say you're the person who wants to sell your home. I understand you have three very important things people need to consider before doing that.

CORBETT: Absolutely. And you know what, right now, that is, as I said, the light at the end of the tunnel for some home sellers because in some markets, home prices are increasing.

But you need to know what your house is worth today, because the best way to sell your house is to price it properly. So what you want to do is look at all of the comps from the last 30 to 60 days. Make sure you don't go back any further than that.

Also, do it yourself. Don't try to for sale by owner and save on commission. You need to get it out there with a good professional. And lastly, here's my big one, save it, store it, sell it, chuck it. Clean out your house, de-clutter, depersonalize. There's way too much of you in your house right now, I guarantee it.

WHITFIELD: Curb appeal from the outside and inside.

CORBETT: Absolutely, outside and in. WHITFIELD: Michael Corbett, thank you so much. Great advice if you want to buy or sell. Now certainly seems like the time.

All right, got a favorite holiday film out there? Our film critic Grae Drake will rate some of her favorites.


WHITFIELD: What gets you into the holiday spirit, turkey, eggnog, gingerbread? How about a heartwarming holiday movie? Our movie critic is here to tell us about some of her favorite holiday films. Grae Drake, good to see you. Happy Thanksgiving weekend.


WHITFIELD: She's senior editor at and she's joining us right now from Los Angeles. So let's begin with this weekend's new release "Rise of the Guardians." It's about a group of heroes joining forces to protect the imaginations of children all over the world. Let's look at a chip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is our job to protect the children of the world. Now we face a threat greater than ever before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What an adorable dream. What's more powerful? It's fear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need your help.


WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. That looks kind of scary, Grae.

DRAKE: It's a little intense. I think it's still OK for your kids, but it's childhood's greatest hits. It's Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Jack Frost, and they're fighting the evil Pitch, who is voiced by Jude Law. And all Pitch wants to do is send the world into darkness, which is what I suspect Jude Law has been up to all the time, by the way. The movie is cute. The 3-D is great. It's really, really heavy on the magi magic. I love the fact that this movie made me feel like eight-years-old.

WHITFIELD: These animations are getting to be extraordinary. You can't help but marvel at just the finished product. How do they do that is what you want to know.

DRAKE: Exactly.

WHITFIELD: There are other movies you suggest to get people in the holiday mood. What would they be?

DRAKE: I come from a long line of movie lovers. One of my favorite films is directed by Jodie Foster and it's called "Home for the Holidays." And it stars Holly Hunter as a woman down on her luck, she lost her jobs, and cue the holidays. She has to deal her crazy family, except in her crazy family is Robert Downey Jr., the legendary Anne Bancroft. And this movie is funny, and I love watching people yell at each other, I guess.

WHITFIELD: Oh, gosh, no.

DRAKE: It's funny.

WHITFIELD: Then we have a segment coming up that's for you. You're going to have to keep watching. We have a segment coming up a little bit later on how to keep the harmony in the household. Anyway, go ahead. What else do you have?

DRAKE: We yell, but we do it with love. That's what that movie is like.

WHITFIELD: Is that it?

DRAKE: And there's another one called "It's a Wonderful Life." It's a classic. I know there are people out there who haven't seen it or people who haven't seen it for a few years. This movie is a classic for a reason. Jimmy Stewart is a man who is so good-hearted. He's giving of himself, and he's not living out his own dreams. But he gets to see what his life would be like if he never existed.


DRAKE: And this movie is fantastic. If you have great friends and a great family who love you, you're going to love this movie.

WHITFIELD: And we're out of time, but "Arthur Christmas" would be another one. That's another animated film that puts you in the holiday spirit, and it's kid-friendly and all of that good cozy stuff, right?

DRAKE: Absolutely. It totally made me cry, and it's not Christmas until somebody is crying.


WHITFIELD: That's right, hopefully they're not crying because of that lack of harmony in the household, but they're crying because it's sentimental and gooey and yummy. Thanks so much, Grae Drake, good to see you from L.A. Remember, you can get more from Grae at

Then there's the changing face of adulthood -- 20-somethings of today are different than their parents were at the same age. We'll tell you how and why it matters to everyone these days.


WHITFIELD: Has the definition of adulthood changed for young people? The "New York Times" magazine profiled 20-somethings two years ago, establishing things have changed. Today's 20-somethings are not meeting the traditional five milestones of adulthood, like graduating, moving out, becoming financially independent, marrying, and having a child compared to previous generations.

Well, Robin Marantz Henig wrote that article, and it set off such a national debate that she expanded on it in a book that she co-wrote with her daughter, Samantha Henig.


WHITFIELD: The two of you together have written this book, "20- Something, Why do Young Adults Seem Stuck?" Samantha, is that the conclusion that we draw, that 20-somethings of today are kind of stuck? They're trapped in this world of, this is what I want to do versus this is what the expectation is, and you find yourself kind of in the middle? Are 20-somethings happy with that?

SAMANTHA HENIG, AUTHOR, "TWENTY-SOMETHING": We don't necessarily think that 20-somethings are stuck. I think that one of the things that we deal with in the book is just this idea of how many choices you have when you're in your 20s and that's the time when you really need to start closing off doors because that's what it is to make a choice, is to go down this one path and that means not going down another path.

And that can be paralyzing, especially, you know, in the information age where you're so aware of all of the choices that are out there and all of the things you're not doing, that there can be this fear of missing out that makes it really hard to choose just one path. And so to the extent that anyone feels stuck, I think it's more that. It's that paralysis by being faced with so many choices.

ROBIN MARANTZ HENIG, AUTHOR, "TWENTY-SOMETHING": It seems as though technology is kind of speeding things up a little bit. And the economy is also making a certain amount of a difference. But with those qualifiers, things are not that different now than they used to be. It's always been the case that in your 20s is when you start coming to those decision points and have to choose one route or another.

WHITFIELD: So Samantha, not that 20-somethings, millennials, are a monolithic group here, but what do you see in the future or the future of your fellow 20-somethings, do you look forward to it, do you have trepidation about it? Do you worry? What?

SAMANTHA HENIG: I would say I look forward to it, yes. And I'm not too worried. I mean, I think that in terms of what we encountered in our research and in our interviews, the most worrisome thing is the amount of student loan debt that people in my generation are facing. And that really is, you know, that is a true hardship and something that can really affect the number of options that are open to you, and I'm seeing a lot of friends grappling with that now. You know, they want to go down one career path, but that's going to make it harder for them to pay back their loans.

WHITFIELD: In fact, you quote in the book or we're quoting from your book where it says the millennials are also grappling for the first time ever with the inversion of the American dream, the realization they probably won't be as well off as their parents were. Their houses will be smaller if they can afford them at all. Their jobs will be harder to get, more demanding, less secure. They might not have the fancy cars and the fancy vacations their parents could afford.


ROBIN MARANTZ HENIG: There are also, though, changing expectations about that a little bit. There are fewer young people who are rushing to buy cars in the first place. They say they would rather live in cities than live in big sprawling suburban houses. I don't know if that's just a reaction to the prospects they have, but I think that things are changing a little bit about what they are defining as a good life.

WHITFIELD: Robin Henig and Samantha Henig there, the authors of "20- Something."

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