Movie Name: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Studio: Hughes Entertainment
Release Date(s): November 25, 1987
MPAA Rating: R
All Neal Page (Steve Martin) wants is to get home to his family in Chicago for Thanksgiving. After losing his cab to a salesman named Del Griffith (John Candy), Neal finds himself stuck on a plane next to him. When the plane is diverted, Neal finds like it or not he’s stuck with Del in Wichita and the only way to get home in time for the holiday is to team up with him. Will Neal survive the trip?
Written and directed by John Hughes, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is one of those few Thanksgiving movies. Released on November 25, 1987, it made the smart move of teaming Martin and Candy (both at the top of their games) in a John Hughes film (also at the top of his game). The movie was well liked by audiences and critics and has come to be a holiday classic.
The story of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is simple: The Odd Couple trapped together during a stressful holiday in confined spaces. The movie almost writes itself in this aspect. It is easy to see while Steve Martin (aka Felix) is irritated by John Candy (aka Oscar). Add in a more explosive script and make Oscar more of a con-artist who is more ambivalent to Felix, and you’ve got Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It is a good format that always works and the recent Due Date with Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis proves it still works.
Martin and Candy are naturals at playing off each other and both seem to always play the same type of character…but that’s because they do it so well. The is the type of movie that makes you kind of sad watching in that youremember how enjoyable John Candy could be and how it was a shame that he died too soon.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is rated R, but only for one scene…the great rental car scene with Steve Martin and Edie McClurg in which Martin drops the F-Bomb 18 times in one minute…that takes some skill and McClurg who is also a nice, underrated comic actress sends it right back at him…This scene does make the movie a bit tough to watch as a “family” movie. In that aspect it is too bad because it is a nice movie.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a classic and is rightly treated as one. It may be a little unrealistic in all the hell that Martin and Candy go through that Martin would even come close to accepting Candy, but it doesn’t matter. It is a nice movie that tries to remind people what they have to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day.