Planes, Trains & Automobiles (11/18/12 & 12/28/12)

Planes, Trains & AutomobilesMovie Two Hundred Sixty Five and Two Hundred Ninety Nine

An ad executive desperately tries to get home to Chicago from New York in time for Thanksgiving in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Two days before Thanksgiving, Neal Page (Steve Martin),an ad executive, is in New York on a business meeting trying to catch his plane back to Chicago to be with his family. While trying to snatch a cab from a sleazy lawyer, someone else gets in and Neal chases after it, startling the passenger. At the airport, Neal arrives at the gate just in time but the flight is delayed. While waiting, he sees the man that stole his cab and finds out his name is Del Griffith (John Candy), a shower ring salesman. Neal is annoyed by Del but after a string of bad luck and misfortunes, the two stick together trying to get back to Chicago.

I skipped ahead to make sure this one got published in time for Thanksgiving. I hate summarizing comedies because it’s impossible to make a movie sound funny in a paragraph talking about the plot. Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a film that is funny regardless of the season, but there aren’t a ton of Thanksgiving movies out there so why not watch it around this time of year? The ‘everything that can go wrong, will go wrong’ series of events always has me in stitches and individually, Martin and Candy are two of my favorite comedic actors, so naturally, together they are a riot.

There are scenes in Planes, Trains and Automobiles that make me laugh uncontrollably every single time I see it. It’s not that the moments are a surprise, they are just completely hilarious to me. The series of events that befall Neal and Del is always a bit of a surprise to me since I never quite remember the exact order of everything, which helps keep Planes, Trains and Automobiles fresh regardless of how many times I’ve seen it. As with most other John Hughes movies, Planes, Trains and Automobiles has a heart to it between all the comedy and if you’ve never seen the film before, the ending may surprise you.

A while back, I wrote about another Hughes/Candy film, Uncle Buck, where I state that it’s my second favorite Candy film after this one and watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles again solidifies that point for me. Hughes had such a talent for writing and directing and he and Candy worked amazingly well together. Not only is Planes, Trains and Automobiles one of the finest films of both their careers, it’s one of my favorite comedies ever.

I give it 5 “those aren’t pillows!” out of 5.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS – It kills me to write out the title of the film with an Oxford comma

[Update] I was lucky enough to get to see Planes, Trains and Automobiles at a midnight showing in a theater and it was better than I imagined. The owner of the theater even got dressed up as Del Griffith (check out my Facebook page for a picture). While my eyelids started getting heavy after their car burns, the whole movie was a joy to see in the theater. Candy and Martin’s expressions and movements were somehow exaggerated and I thought the film was even funnier than normal. We had a great time.


Rotten Tomatoes


58 responses to “Planes, Trains & Automobiles (11/18/12 & 12/28/12)

  1. Dude. We are so in synch with the movie watching right now. I’m down with the fact that this is a Thanks Giving film, but I’m not American, so it’s just me randomly watching it right now. πŸ™‚ I watched it a few nights ago when I couldn’t sleep. Part way through, I did fall asleep but woke up just when Steve Martin was about to start swearing at the “gobble, gobble” woman. Ha ha ha ha ha! πŸ˜€ IT’s a great, great film! πŸ™‚

    Happy Thanks Giving to you! πŸ™‚

  2. Another firm favourite and classic John Candy/Steve Martin. I have laughed myself into hysteria watching this in the past. But as you say, it is a movie with heart and there are some almost tear inducing moments. Great review and a great choice. πŸ˜€

  3. This was on TV last night, you have good timing. I love this movie, like I love most of what John Candy did. It’s funny to see how good this movie still is. Sure, it’s dated, but it doesn’t hurt the enjoyment of the film. Great review.

  4. Saw this for the first time last night. Not my favorite from Hughes, but still good fun overall. Loved seeing Steve Martin unleash a series of F-bombs at the airport. πŸ™‚

  5. I have only seen bits of ” Planes, Trains and Automobiles” on TV. Hopefully I’ll get the whole movie some time.

    Re Thanksgiving movies, have you seen “Pieces of April”? Yeah, I know what you’ll think — Katie Holmes? The acting is really good. This is a 100% independent movie.

    Then there’s Jodie Foster’s Thanksgiving directorial debut. But I think Pieces of April is just as good in a different Indie kind of way.

    • It’s a movie you should watch uncensored, there are a few really funny moments that would be diminished if censored.

      My wife was talking about that movie over the weekend, she liked it but I’ve never seen it.

  6. It’s one of my favorite comedies as well. Steve Martin and John Candy are at their best here. I always found it quite ironic that John Hughes best comedy was one about adults. Nice review.

  7. i watched this ondemand about two weeks ago because i wanted my 14-year old to see something that we could both laugh at together. always loved it. “those aren’t pillows!”

  8. Pingback: The Good Stuff of the Week – 11/26 | The Soap Box Office

  9. I try to watch this every year around Thanksgiving. It’s such a great film. My only problem is the horrible 80s score. It always drives me nuts.

  10. Pingback: Uncle Buck (8/17/12) | Andy Watches Movies

  11. Pingback: My November Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

  12. Pingback: My December Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s