Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) Review


Neal Page is struggling to get home in time for Thanksgiving when his flight from New York to Chicago is delayed and then they have to land somewhere else. He then cannot get away from Del Griffith who has constantly made the journey more difficult.


Where to start with this review? Well, why on earth has it taken me until now to watch this film is probably the best way to start it all to be completely honest! I love both Steve Martin and John Candy so I am not entirely sure why I hadn’t watched this before as it is totally fantastic! A very funny and amusing comedy film which certainly cheered me up after a long day.

Neal and Del are total opposites to each other and clash a lot which makes for some much funnier moments. At the same time though you cannot help but feel sorry for Del as he is trying to make light of the situation they have ended up in. Neal is very serious and seems to have an issue with other people.

Everything that could possibly go wrong for the pair does, first with the plane and then the horrible motel they end up staying in. The next part of the plan is to then get a train across, but that is never going to work either. What is next after a train, well that’s right lets try and drive the rest of the way. I am sure that is going to better right? Well, wrong. When you have bad luck it seems to last for a very long time and that is shown and highlighted in this film.

The comedy genius and timing of both actors just compliments each other so well, Steve Martin taking up the more serious role something he is very good at with John Candy being the crazy character something that never gets old. Something that did surprise me with the film though was how touching and moving the ending was, I wasn’t prepared for that and found myself getting very emotional with the unexpected turn after the chaos they had endured over the previous few days.

Why can’t they make comedies like this anymore? I mean come on this is from 30 years ago, the year I was born and nothing really comes close to how funny and yet real this feels. I mean I guess it would be slightly different now with the mobile phone era in terms of being able to keep in touch with loved ones. But I am sure the plane delays are still a big problem in the US when snow storms hit the different states. I have never travelled over the winter period before so never experience any of it myself. This film would certainly put you off trying to fly anywhere once in snow season!

Something I couldn’t help but think ab out is what an incredible talent John Candy was, every film I catch up and watch with him in makes my love for him grow. Honestly an amazing comedic actor to watch, I hope I can keep finding films of his that I have not seen yet. I could really see myself watching is one over and over again, fantastic!

16 thoughts on “Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) Review

  1. One of my absolutely favourites, Caz! Also a big Steve Martin fan…

    Watch this without fail, at least, twice a year and that change in events at the end literally gives me shivers just thinking about it, it’s a perfect film and as you say… we don’t get enough of these at the moment. Maybe people think they’ve got to do the quick/ad lib comedy all the time?

    This style would be very welcome again, beautiful stuff. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad you loved this. One of my absolute favourite comedies of all time and probably the best film from John Hughes in my opinion, with Ferris Bueller being a close second. I still really miss John Candy. He was like, what? 43 or 44 years old when he died!? Far too young.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There are three reasons this film works so well: Steve Martin, Director John Hughes, and Del Griffith! This movie is one of the best holiday films ever, as well as one of the best comedies…the fact that they would accept an “R”-rating just so Martin could go off on an expletive-laden rant at the rental car counter is just one reason to say “bravo” – here is something I posted about Martin’s incredible career –

    Liked by 1 person

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