Joel’s review of Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Please pick your jaws up off the floor. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) is a classic 1980’s John Hughes movie, but I’ve never seen it before. It’s currently available on Netflix, and I had some time to watch this weekend.

The film stars Steven Martin and John Candy, two salesmen from Chicago who are both working in Manhattan the days before Thanksgiving. Both end up running into each other in NY, in their separate attempts to get home for the holidays. Steve Martin plays Neal Page, a “professional” advertising mid-level executive, while John Candy plays Del Griffith, a less than professional, somewhat slobby shower curtain ring salesman.

Their direct flight home from NY to Chicago is diverted to Wichita, due to a blizzard affecting O’Hare airport. Although Neal can’t stand Del and his slobby irritating mannerisms, and attempts to ditch Del at any opportunity, their paths begin to cross again and again. Del is a good guy at heart, but rather irritating at times. For the entire trip (and entire film), it seems everything that could go wrong, does in fact go horribly wrong. It is almost unimaginable, yet amusing.

The film ends in a way that completely surprised me. I have to say I was really surprised that this farce turns bittersweet at the end. Interestingly enough, the film was written, directed, and produced by the famous John Hughes. While I will admit the film was a bit silly at times, the change in tone towards the end made it a lot more interesting for me.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

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