When John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club) released “Planes, Trains And Automobiles” in 1987 the world received a comic gem that teamed the unlikely duo of Steve Martin and John Candy as reluctant fellow travelers trying to get home for the Thanksgiving holiday. The film is arguably the best performances by both Candy and Martin in their film careers. The character development is outstanding and strangely we can relate to both men, even though their personalities are polar opposites. Besides bringing us one of the funniest comedies of the 1980s, the film also makes a great case for having empathy for our fellow human beings. The movie has a laugh out loud dynamic driven by the characters of Neal Page and Del Griffith who are forced to travel together after various circumstances occur that leave them with little options.
The movie is filled with classic comedy scenes and lines. Throughout their trials and tribulations, Steve Martin’s character reminds us of the importance of family as he calls home to his family at every chance to update his wife on his travels. Ultimately, family and good friends are the main things that he realizes are the most important in life, and he takes that opportunity to share it with his newfound friend Del Griffith, who otherwise be alone for the holiday. It’s not often that you find a movie that is this hysterically funny and yet incredibly sentimental at the same time.
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