Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins
Director: John Hughes
Running Time: 93 mins
Planes, Trains And Automobiles is an American film about a New York businessman who must struggle home on Thanksgiving in any way he can, even if it means spending the entire journey with an annoying shower ring salesman.
So, I love this film because it’s so fun. I also really enjoy Steve Martin and John Candy’s performances, and while the story is so annoying, although deliberately so, it’s also at points quite dramatic, giving some degree of intelligence to the dominating farcical comedy.
However, I’ll start with the two main performances. Steve Martin does a great job at representing the everyday man, effectively the viewer, and despite being quite aggressive and angry all the time, he’s totally supportable because you can so easily relate to the frustration of the situation he’s in.
John Candy is also a lot of fun to watch. He may be one of the most irritating film characters of all time, but he’s got the character of some sort of a gentle giant, and when you’re not looking at him as a disgusting slob, he’s actually very emotional, intelligent and likeable, plus you really feel sorry for him during some of the more dramatic parts, meaning that there is a good balance between the two main characters in this film, despite them being polar opposites.
The story, meanwhile, is also a lot of fun. It gets marks down from me because it is at points just too inconceivably frustrating, when you can’t relate to it any more, but the majority of the plot is a realistic representation of the frustrations of commuting, and is a lot of fun to see it from someone else’s point of view without actually having to be stuck in it.
So, overall, this gets a 7.5, because despite having a frustrating and annoying atmosphere, this film has a lot of heart, two great performances, and a really fun story.