Thursday, November 25, 2021

Planes, Trains, And Automobiles

Strangely, I've now seen two movies in one week with both John Candy and Kevin Bacon in the cast.

Okay I've finally seen it. Yeah it was pretty great! I knew very bare bones basics of the story, heck I didn't even know who directed it until about halfway through and I had a great time with it. The story follows businessman Neal who is desperately trying to get home to his family for Thanksgiving as everything goes wrong and he is paired with a obnoxious travel partner Del as they go from New York, to Wichita, to St. Louis, to Chicago. It would be foolish to say this isn't an adventure movie, I'd even call it an odyssey, but it's a comedy first and it did that job very well. Good comedy is based on misery, and seeing so much bad stuff happen to the pessimistic and angry Steve Martin while most everything goes right for the super kind and sweet John Candy does work. Steve Martin is one of the very few people who can act like the biggest jerk and yet you are still on his side, you don't hate him. That's talent, it could so easily go off the deep end and have him be this unholy bastard of a man who nothing good should ever happen to, but you understand his situation and frustration. John Candy, shock of all shocks, is wonderful and lovely and amazing. I'm severely tempted to just do a whole week of John Candy movies, and again he shows real talent in this movie because he can get on your nerves at times, and yet still makes it really funny. If you met a person like this in real life you would strangle the life out of them, but because it's John Candy he can get away with it. The style of the writing and direction was ringing a few bells in my head and I wondered if John Hughes had any hand in this at all and sure enough he wrote and directed it, no wonder I liked it so much. It's somewhat hard to talk about the movie without going through every scene and every series of unfortunate events, but I will talk about one. When Steve Martin gets on the L train, he's made it to Chicago, and he's thinking about home. That got a tear out of me, it was just one but one is all you need. It's a very simple thing to describe and yet impossible to describe, he's thinking about walking through the door, seeing his wife and his kids, the food, the atmosphere of the dining table, and thinking about his unlikely friend. It's a very brief scene, incredibly minimalistic in how it's shot, but my God you get so much emotion out of that. You've probably had days where it seems nothing is going right, you've had a lot of stress and problems either preparing for the holidays or travelling to see family for the holidays, and to see him on his way after so much trouble has occured it struck me man. It struck me like an arrow through the heart. I think about home now more than I ever have, I like to be there when I can, there's no better place to be. It's a really good film, not my favorite of John's but another strong film in his career. 4 stars, 8.5/10, be back tomorrow to see an old flame.

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