Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Steve Martine and John Candy are comedy geniuses; each has a very different style yet somehow in Planes, Trains & Automobiles they work together flawlessly.

Neal Page and Del Griffith have one thing in common, they are both trying to get to Chicago and their plane gets stranded states away because of a snowstorm. Neal reluctantly agrees to team up with Del to find another way home and together the men not only irritate each other to no end, but run into every trial you can imagine from being forced to ride in the back of a hillbillies pick up truck to being stolen from in a motel room. This movie is a traveler’s nightmare and that alone makes it one of the funniest films you’ll enjoy about something that might actually happen to you.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles is a John Hughes film and I have to say it is the first Hughes film I’ve seen that is an adult story. While the teen angst I’ve come to associate so much with Hughes was gone, the anal, goofy, uptight characters were still a perfect fit for Hughes mentality. Between his knack for comedy and the extreme talents of Martin and Candy no joke is misplaced and even the most surreal situations retain their comic power.

I was a child when John Candy died and I have to say that I don’t really remember many of his performances with clarity. Watching Planes, Trains & Automobiles reminded me that Candy was a powerful comic in his heyday and his films should still be watched.

What I liked so much about Planes, Trains & Automobiles is again that it is film whose comedy doesn’t rely on the trends of its contemporary pop culture to be funny like Shrek or Murphy Brown, it finds its humor in the humanity of its characters and situations and that is what will make the film last and remain fresh for many years to come.

Director & Writer: John Hughes
Neal Page: Steve Martin
Del Griffith: John Candy
State Trooper: Michael McKean
Taxi Racer: Kevin Bacon
Car Rental Agent: Edie McClurg

Del: You know I had a feeling that when we parted ways. We would somehow wind up back together again. I've never seen a guy get picked up by his testicles before. Lucky thing for you that cop passed by when he did. Otherwise, you'd be lifting up your schnutz to tie you shoes. I'm sorry. That's terrible. Do you have any idea how glad I am I didn't kill you?
Neal: Do you have any idea how glad I'd be if you had?

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