"They were on a vibrating bed. What did you think was going to happen?" -Del and Neil.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is basically your worst case traveling scenario. Over the years, I have seen many a road movie that rang of this one, namely "Dutch" and "Road Trip" but neither was done nearly as well. And "Dutch" was even written by John Hughes!
Neil Page is stuck in a meeting in New York, desperate to get home. He glances at his watch and he has less than two hours to get to the airport. He tries desperately to hail a cab, and when he finally gets one, Del Griffith steals it, accidentally. This is the first of many encounters between Neil and Del.
When Neil finally gets to the airport, he is horrified to find that his flight is cancelled due to weather. Neil recognizes Del, who is sitting across from him at the gate.
Neil finally boards the plane only do discover that heís been bumped to coach. No sooner than he can say, ďI canít wait to see what happens next!Ē he finds out heís sitting next to Del.
The plane is diverted to Wichita, where Del offers to share a hotel room with Neil for the night when Neil has no luck finding one himself. From here on, they are intertwined throughout a desperate journey to get home in time for Thanksgiving.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a wonderful film that is written amazingly well. It also happens to be very funny, with great performances from the entire cast, especially John Candy, who very well may be giving his best performance of his career. Viewing the film after his tragic death is really rather bittersweet. Youíre glad that the film is around to savor his performance, but yet sad that he is no longer around to enjoy new films from.
Steve Martin also gives a great performance, playing Neil is a difficult role, as he is the more straight-laced, uptight character. Steve Martin plays it on just the right note. Both Neil and Del are real three-dimensional characters, and probably one of the reasons the film is so good.
And of course this review would not be complete without mentioning that Steve Martinís profane rant against the car rental representative. It is one of the best parts of the film, and represents what many of us have wanted to do to these people who yank us around and yet we never seem to do it. Of course the repís response is the perfect capper to the scene.
Highly, highly recommended.
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