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Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Director/Writer/Producer: John Hughes
Cast: Steve Martin, John Candy
Genre: Comedy

Mini Synopsis: Steve Martin is Neal Page, an uptight business man whos marketing job has him in New York City away from his family. All he wants to do is to catch a plane to Chicago in time to spend Thanksgiving weekend with his wife and kids...John Candy is Del Griffith, a likeable loudmouth and traveling shower curtain ring salesman. When snow cancels the plane flight, Del's offers to help seems to do Neal more harm than good.

Review: Director-writer-producer John Hughes has created some of the most beloved comedies of the 1980s. His directing career only includes eight movies, all of them comedies and most were big hits. One of those films is Planes, Trains & Automobiles a film that's different than his other teen focus films.

John Hughes usually has his films POV shown from the point of view of a social outcast...someone who's likeable & intelligent and yet marches to a different beat, and doesn't quite fit in. Here it would seem he broke that mold by telling the story from Neal (Steve Martin's) viewpoint. Neal is conventional, a man who has a good job, a nice family and seems to fit into society. But there's a second POV from John Candy's character, Del.

Del is an outsider, an eccentric goof with a kind heart, but he's not mainstream, not at all. Del is John Hughes in this movie and that's why the key to this film is in Del. It's through Del that we learn about humanity, friendship and enjoying the moment.

Loved the shower rings for earrings scene, with the teen girls going crazy to buy them. Just one of the clever tidbits in this richly written film.

Steve Martin who's often played the wild man, is brilliant playing the straight man this time around. He balances the movie and keeps it grounded. Without him the film could have been just a zany over the top laugh fest.

John Candy does what he does best, playing likable oafs. We learn to care about him and he gives the film heart. This is John Candy's favorite film of the movies that he made.

Hughes took the effort to make some of the cameo roles very memorable. It's the characters that are encountered that entertain.

Steve Martin and John Candy are a brilliant comedy pairing with Steve playing the straight man and John playing the lovable goof.

And this was another hilarious moment made funnier by the talented actresses Edie McClurg.

This is one of those movies that really needs to be watched over and over again. There were so many cleverly written and down right funny scenes, that one viewing is not enough.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
is one of the classic John Hughes' comedies. It has wit, it has laughs, it has heart and it understands people. At the end of this movie we feel good and there's nothing wrong with that.