Traveling during the holidays? What could be more stressful?
We’re about to take an outrageous disaster ride.
Imagine listening to a constant blabbermouth while speeding down the highway with a scorched
speedometer. That’s one of many scenarios that will have viewers clutching their seatbelts and
chuckling in writer, director John Hughes’s 1987 comedy “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.”
I’m the Ranting Usher. Let me be your driver.
Steve Martin delivers a bold and honest performance as cynical marketing executive Neal Page who
wants nothing more than to make it home for Thanksgiving. Martin stars opposite John Candy, who
offers an exuberant over the top performance as annoying shower curtain salesman Del Griffith.
When the two inevitably meet and are forced to share many different vehicles, their greatest obstacle
is tolerating each other’s quirks.
With their dry sarcasm and wily humor, these Saturday Night Live veterans succeed in making “Planes,
Trains & Automobiles” a classic riot on wheels.
“Wow,” Del Griffith exclaims, “we can laugh now because we’re all right.”
Emotional moments occur that are powerfully written and acted. Woven into the storyline, they elicit an
empathetic response from audiences.
When Neal Page reflects on all he has endured with Del Griffith, and imagines finally coming home to
his family, subtle details like the musical score, crosscutting images and acting touch a viewer’s heart.
The redemption between Griffith and Page comes shining through at the end in a way that resonates
even after the credits roll.
One more thing: somebody give Neal Page “a f****** automobile with four f****** wheels and a seat”
before he goes postal.
“Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” is both a bumpy ride as well as an enjoyable journey around the
I’m the Ranting Usher. Let me transport you to your final destination. Wait. Where are the keys?
Don’t look at me like that.
Do you agree with my review? What crazy stories do you have to share about holiday traveling? Let
me know in the comments section.
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