Planes, Trains & Automobiles tells the story of Neal Page, a man who just wants to get home for Thanksgiving. After a series of unfortunate events he finds himself searching for other means of transportation home for the holidays with only an obnoxious slob of a shower ring salesman as his companion.
I was not sure what to expect with this movie. All I knew about it going in was that is stars Steve Martin and John Candy and that it is one of those movies I've heard mention of plenty of times and always intended to watch. I was a little worried when the movie first started. A "comedy of errors" movie has to be really well done for me to not just get fed up and irritated with the characters. Luckily Planes, Trains & Automobiles did not disappoint!
Steve Martin and John Candy were the perfect fit for their characters. In fact, they seemed to me to be just playing exaggerated versions of themselves instead of completely different characters. I definitely identified with Neal Page at the outset of the film. Del Griffith was a loud blabbermouth and not just a little gross. I actually had to turn down the sound when Del was "clearing his sinuses"! So I was right there with Neal when he first loses it… for about 10 seconds that is. Del was so completely crushed that my heart went right out to him. His ability to stay positive throughout the film, despite constant insults from Neal, is envious. The world would be a much better place if everyone were that generous!
My favourite scene in the movie would have to be Neal's rant at the car dealership. But it may not be for the reason you're thinking. Yes, we all have those customer service horror stories and I'm sure there have been multiple occasions when we would have liked to unleash a similar tirade. I work in customer service which means I am actually more critical of it as I understand what basic level of service that everyone should meet. However, I have also been on the receiving end of someone else's bad day and that is just not fair. So this scene is my favourite simply because of the employee’s response at the end! It is what I have wanted to say to countless customers over the years. Even though the audience is supposed to be empathizing with Neal, I felt very vindicated by this woman's cheerful put down! See the video below to enjoy the classic scene again!
I also love that when this movie was done I wanted to go watch Father of the Bride and Cool Runnings! I loved these people and wasn't ready to let them go. Though I did also want to watch The Flintstones after the sing-along on the bus!
This is a great Thanksgiving movie and I'm happy that I've finally seen it but I'm not sure that I will really be watching it again anytime soon. While there were very funny moments, it is not necessarily my type of comedy- not on a regular basis at least. Despite this, I do recommend everyone check out this movie as it can be just as touching as it can be funny.