Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

Year: 1987
Directed By: John Hughes
Written By: John Hughes

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is one of those classic films that I just never got around to seeing. I grew up with John Hughes films but this one somehow eluded me. It’s lingered on my to-do list for a long time and when I finally decided to watch it I thought it would be better to watch and review in correlation with the holiday it is about. It just so happens that this Thanksgiving is a big one as tomorrow Amber and I will be hosting our families for Thanksgiving dinner for the first time.

I’m not quite sure how it is that I haven’t seen this movie at any point over the last 28 years. As a film fan who has seen such a wide variety this seems exceptionally weird for several reasons. First, I am a fan of John Hughes and have seen nearly every one of his films. Secondly, I am a big fan of both Steve Martin and John Candy. Coupled with the fact that I’ve seen so much this is just an unusual anomaly.

John Hughes movies are typical but we are endeared to them because they center on typical scenarios we can all relate to. Coming of age in high school, family troubles during the holidays, skipping class to have the greatest day of your life, or in this case, being stuck with an annoying man on a long and difficult trip. His movies have a timeless quality that will always be funny no matter how far we get from the 80s. They also feature life lessons that we can all learn from.

I think the oddest thing for me about this movie is trying to buy into John Candy as the obnoxious guy. Granted he plays the part well I just find him too likeable as an actor. I remember being sad when John Candy passed, he was an actor I had grown up watching and I was 10 when he died. He was probably the first celebrity I was attached to who passed away and I was consciously aware of it. John Candy was a really and truly funny person who was hard not to like. We should cherish every opportunity we have to see him in something.

I have always liked Steve Martin and I cannot figure out how I hadn’t seen this movie for that alone. When he loses it on the rental car lady with a barrage of fucks I laughed out loud and had to rewind it to see it again. I’ll never understand what happened to Steve Martin and why he failed to have long term success in acting. I think Martin is a really funny man and I love some of his classic films. He was particularly funny during the 80s when this movie came out.

This has been a fun and funny movie that I can easily foresee myself watching again come next Thanksgiving when I’m looking for a movie that fits with the season. I enjoyed watching it for the first time and have that feeling that it is the type of movie that will get better the more I watch it. Hughes movies have that quality too which is another reason they are always memorable.

If anybody out there is reading this now then wish us good fortune on our holiday tomorrow. With hope it will be the first of many Thanksgiving dinners at our home. If you yourself are looking for a movie to get you in the spirit of Thanksgiving this one qualifies and if you haven’t seen it take it from me that you have missed out. Don’t be like me and miss out on something really enjoyable like this.

With hope I find a Thanksgiving movie to watch on the eve of the holiday every year but there are little to choose from. The holiday is largely overshadowed by its bigger sibling, Christmas. Maybe next year we will watch Tommy Boy. Which is a movie I love but suddenly realize is practically a rip off of the concept we see in this movie. Fitting given I actually think of Chris Farley as a new age John Candy although Farley only outlived him by a few years.

 

 

 

 

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