Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

In all honesty, I did not watch this movie until I was an adult. Even though I was a child of the 80’s and remember a lot of the decade, there were a few classic movies of the 80’s that I missed. I have yet to see Pretty in Pink, Real Genius, or Making the Grade and and only recently seen other movies like St. Elmo’s Fire and 16 Candles for the first time. Now, I have seen most popular movies of that decade and movies like those I’ve just listed just didn’t seem interesting to me, which is strange because I have seen other Brat Pack movies when they were first released. It’s just one of those things.

Anyway, the premise of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles has two strangers who are trying to get back home to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving but has their plane rerouted to Wichita Kansas. They then spend the rest of the movie trying to get home, even though luck is continuously not in their favor. It stars Steve Martin, John Candy, and is directed by the late, great John Hugues.

John Candy really brings the funny with his annoying personality that drives Steve Martin to the brink. Yet, Candy grows on you as you learn more about him. He’s a friendly guy who’s had trying times in his life.

However, I noticed something strange about the movie, especially since I love to make road trips. It took Martin and Candy 3 days to get from Kansas to Illinois. I checked Google Maps and the actual trip would take about 11 hours by car. Even in the age of no internet, my father used to make good time getting anywhere using folding maps. I could drive that in a day. Even when they rented the car in St. Louis, it took them over a day to complete a 5 hour drive. What took them so long? Were there tons of adult bookstores along the way?That distance flaw doesn’t hurt the movie though; I just thought it was a funny realization. I don’t have to be a nitpicky ass.

I think my favorite joke of the movie (and probably everyone else’s) is where they have to share a bed and then there’s the issue with 2 pillows. It’s scary and hilarious at the same time. I don’t want to spoil the joke for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie but I provided the clip below for anyone who wants a refresher on this uncomfortable situation.

I also found a clip that is a fan made trailer of the movie in the style of Brokeback Mountain, which shows a budding romance between Candy and Martin. It’s pretty funny albeit a bit long, and it would probably even be funnier if Brokeback Mountain was new. 

After recently watching this movie, I realized that the more I watch it, the more I enjoy it. There is always something I notice with every viewing and now I’m considering looking for it on Blu-ray. I definitely recommend it.

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