Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Review

Thanksgiving day is finally here, so I decided to review a Thanksgiving themed movie. Naturally I chose the best turkey day film around, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

For those who do not know, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a classic comedy film starring Steve Martin and the late John Candy. Steve Martin is trying to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving after being at a business meeting in New York. When trying to get a taxi to the airport in NYC, John Candy’s character Dell accidentally steals Steve Martin’s cab. They later meet again at the airport, as well as on the plane. Candy’s personality type constantly clashes with Martin’s, annoying Martin very much. And when their flight is grounded in Wichita, Kansas due to weather conditions, getting home suddenly becomes a lot more difficult. It is now a rush for Martin to get back home to his family before Thanksgiving. As you may have guessed, comedy ensues.

I have got to start by saying just how memorable this film is. It is full of iconic scenes that I remember very vividly. It’s not common for me to remember so much from a film, but with Planes, Trains, and Automobiles it comes easy. Just about every scene is very memorable because of some joke or some awkward moment, which is what makes it great.

Every time I watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles I notice something new I had never seen before. Little jokes that don’t catch your eye on the first viewing. Or little details that make me respect the film all the more. For example, there is one iconic scene where Martin and Candy have to sleep in the same bed. Above the bed you can just barely make out two dirty handprints, implying someone had been in a sexual position on the bed. Both very gross and funny. Another thing I noticed just recently is when Candy and Martin get picked up by a redneck in his pickup truck. The guy spits chewing tobacco into his hand just before shaking Martin’s hand. This is also very gross, and funny.

The narrative told in this film is phenomenal. It can be funny, emotional, serious, or just plain crazy. Sometimes all at once. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles knows exactly how to grab the audience’s attention. The scene that I feel exemplifies this best is when Steve Martin is on a train home. He begins daydreaming about seeing his wife and kids, then his mind naturally wanders to some of the good times he had with John Candy. The way his thoughts travel from topic to topic accurately portrays how the actual human mind wanders. I feel this is a touching scene to an excellent movie.

That was definitely the magic of John Hughes writing. He encapsulated this wonderful emotion and passsion for filmmaking so well. This is seen in some of his films like Home Alone, Uncle Buck, and The Breakfast Club. But nowhere are his talents for directing and leading his actors showcased than in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

I firmly believe Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is one of the best comedy films of all time. I would for sure put it in my top ten favorites, as would many people. I recommend Planes, Trains, and Automobiles to anyone who has never seen it, which seems to be a lot of people. I strangely know many individuals who have never had the pleasure of watching such a fun and wacky film. It’s the only must see Thanksgiving movie around, so go ahead and give it a watch.

-Zachary Flint

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