Monthly Archives: December 2012

Late to being stuck in Wichita! A review of Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Neal: Del… Why did you kiss my ear?
Del: Why are you holding my hand?
Neal: [frowns] Where’s your other hand?
Del: Between two pillows…
Neal: Those aren’t pillows!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

So technically I saw this movie for the first time last year at Thanksgiving. This movie happens to be a Thanksgiving staple for Kevin’s family and I was almost un-invited to the family farm for the holiday when they realized I had never seen it. Unfortunately for me, watching this movie with twenty screaming kids running around meant that I missed out on 75% of the film. I left the movie viewing feeling frustrated and unimpressed.

This year Kevin’s family made me watch it again, and FOR REAL this time. Boy, it’s pretty good. And hey, it’s 25 years old this year which makes it a perfect time to review! Good timing, self!

I’ve always been sort of ambivalent toward John Hughes and his movies. I like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and some of his 90s movies (Beethoven, Home Alones 1 and 2) and –duh– Christmas Vacation. But then, you know, I don’t really love the Molly Ringwald movies which might be more because of my resentment towards constantly being called a Ringwald lookalike (IT MAKES NO SENSE). And the dude made Maid in Manhattan. I mean, seriously, have you seen that? It’s terrifying. But it’s hard to really judge John Hughes when you’ve missed out on all of his John Candy movies (remember how Spaceballs was my first John Candy movie? This is the second).

I get the love for John Candy after watching this movie. He is one funny dude, and his chemistry with Steve Martin (who I have always worshiped and adored after watching this as a little kid) is magical. Planes, Trains and Automobiles has some of the cheese moments that are such classic John Hughes moves, but the heart, the slapstick gags and the perfect comic timing from the two leads completely overshadow the cheese. There are some magical cameos– hello, Kevin Bacon? And the best part is, if you have ever traveled home for the holidays you can absolutely relate to parts of this movie. “Six bucks and my right nut says we’re not landing in Chicago.” Del, I’ve been there and I hear you loud and clear.

Face palm moment:  Even though Dylan Baker (who plays Owen) has starred in no less than one gazillion television shows and movies, I recognized him from a Law and Order: CI episode. What does that say about me? Don’t answer that.

Favorite part: Absolutely the scene in which the car drives in between two semis as it drives the wrong way and John Candy and Steve Martin briefly turn into skeletons.

Also the scene with the rental car lady is a favorite. Why? BECAUSE I LOVE SWEARING.

The “I missed that in pop culture trivia” moment: “Her first baby, came out sideways, she didn’t scream or nothin.” Kevin’s brother posted this quote on his Facebook page last week, and oh by the way his wife is eight months pregnant. I completely freaked out. Thanks, Planes Trains and Automobiles.

Regrettable tardiness scale (out of 10): 10 out of 10 for the quotability factor alone. Consider it now a Thanksgiving tradition. I loved it!