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Overall Rating
4.51

Awesome59.42%
Worth A Look: 34.78%
Average: 2.9%
Pretty Bad: 2.9%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 51 user ratings


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Planes, Trains & Automobiles
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by Chef ADogg

"'I do NOT play with my balls!'"
5 stars

Long before the name John Hughes ever became associated with repugnant kiddie crap like "Home Alone," "Curly Sue," and "Baby's Day Out," you could count on the original Windy City man for solid, funny, touching entertainment--he served as a kind of white Spike Lee, making big open-hearted films that, while they entertained with mildy dirty jokes and deceptively simple slapstick humor, also said a little something about the state of humanity. This is John Hughes' "Do the Right Thing."

John Candy was funny. Steve Martin still is, occasionally. Their pairing in 1987 would be equivalent to sticking Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey in the same film today. But even better, because there's actually chemistry here. "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles" is a shining example of the pure goodness that can come from two actors working at their peak, free of vanity and financial concerns. I doubt anyone involved in the making of "PT&A" was worried about it's eventual box office take; they were too busy having a good time, and being comedic geniuses.

The set-up is simple: Neal must get home for Thanksgiving dinner. But, through a series of mishaps and coincidences so complicated they acquire the feel of true, twisted fate, his voyage becomes intertwined with that of a luckless and obnoxious shower-curtain-ring salesman named Del Griffith. "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles" is a rambling, unforced account of how they forge a friendship over the course of their long way home.

The film unfurls with the kind of timing that owes as much to pure luck as it does to pure talent; every funny, frenzied second of "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" makes it more and more apparent that some higher force was at work here--success of this magnitude requires the alignment of heavens, the blessing of gods, the milky light of a full moon. Movies don't truly flow on talent alone--and this bad boy moves with the sort of babbling-brook fluidity usually reserved for filmmakers as diverse and distinguished as Robert Altman and Billy Wilder.

But, it should be noted, this is not one of those pretentious "real" movies. Certainly it is a valid work of cinema--it was made for the right reasons, and the material is in the right hands. It is very much an altogether right picture. It just doesn't come strapped with all the tired trappings of serious-minded films. It doesn't tackle of-the-moment topics, and Hughes makes his story readily available to the common man by way of a generally silly vibe. But the film contains big, universal themes. It has a warm feel. It is funny as all hell.

It is the kind of film that contains a scene in which we are allowed to see a situation from every angle, and convince ourselves that we know all that can happen. Furthermore, it is the kind of film in which, after all our speculation, something entirely different happens. Further, furthermore, it is the kind of film that, after the shock of the unexpected settles in, all those things we expected only minutes ago, and then forgot about, really DO happen, in rapid succession, with beautiful results.

In other words, it's really, really good.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=930&reviewer=123
originally posted: 03/06/01 13:31:55
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User Comments

1/24/12 Corinne May became a tradition to watch on Thanksgiving morning in our home. I 5 stars
11/27/11 Shaun A One of the most hilarious and frustrating (in a good way!) movies ever. 5 stars
6/22/10 the dork knight Dated but pretty funny 4 stars
2/20/10 PAUL SHORTT CHEERFUL, AMIABLE COMEDY 3 stars
7/08/09 *Holy_J@lapeno* Very great movie. The movie has great comedy, while also having a great message. Awesome!!! 4 stars
9/17/08 Jeph Well beyond hilarious. Screenplay comes full-circle. 5 stars
9/03/08 Shaun Wallner This movie is so funny! 5 stars
7/27/08 The Dork Knight Classic buddy movie. Still funny, too 5 stars
1/26/08 proper amateur film critic Enjoyable, well cast and funny 4 stars
1/05/08 Pamela White one laugh after another and made me think to invite someone lonely for the holiday 5 stars
5/09/07 Anton The scene with Candy driving at night is quite possibly the funniest scene in movie history 5 stars
3/28/07 Anthony G Excellent Film. One of the all time greats. 5 stars
10/28/06 MP Bartley Brilliant comedy. Martin is superb but Candy is flat-out wonderful. Surprisingly tender too 5 stars
10/05/05 Jesse Taylor Possibly the funniest movie ever made. 5 stars
9/02/05 ES Awesome, such a good movie, so very, very funny 5 stars
8/03/05 ALDO Bad parts, maybe, but who gives a shit? Will turn you into a movie-quoting loser 5 stars
7/30/05 Adam A great hilarious feel good movie, classic! 5 stars
7/12/05 DM "That wasn't a pillow!" Priceless. 4 stars
2/01/05 Jeff Anderson Martin & Candy at their finest & funniest. JOHN HUGHES REDEEMS HIMSELF WITH THIS WINNER!!!! 5 stars
12/27/04 mjoc This is one of the funniestmovies I have ever seen! 5 stars
12/10/04 Jason Kaul Holiday classic. Makes me laugh every time! 5 stars
11/19/04 screb hilarious 5 stars
7/09/03 natasha_theobald watching Martin unhinge is a distinct pleasure; Candy is a joyous catalyst 5 stars
4/19/03 R.W. Welch Catastrophe-strewn road pic. Often funny after it gets rolling. 4 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby The music score is horrendous, but everything else is just about perfect. 4 stars
12/02/02 sdfr funny, sweet and charming. Nice ending. 4 stars
12/02/02 Nevz Simply classic 80's comedy 5 stars
10/15/02 Charles Tatum The first thing you can do is wipe that fucking smile off your fucking face 5 stars
9/27/02 Tom Fleeman A classic! Steve and John were superb! A must see. 5 stars
5/13/02 Dark Baron What a great trio, with John (Candy), Steve and John (Hughes) 5 stars
2/21/02 Xaver Lots of good laughs. I miss John Candy. 4 stars
11/23/01 Andrew Carden Just Doesn't Work. Two Great Comics Wasted In Meaningless Parts. 2 stars
8/08/01 Mr. Hat Funny & surprisingly unpredictable,but when Steve gets picked up by the balls,I get sick! 4 stars
8/07/01 E-Funk Sucha perfect blend of feeling and comedy from two of the masters. Hughes last great film. 5 stars
4/24/01 Spetters A comedy that just isnīt funny enough. 2 stars
3/08/01 master.node Amusing. Would I watch it again? Maybe in a few years. 3 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog A good laugh; Candy is hilarious! 4 stars
1/28/01 Soggy Bottom Boy Candy at his best, Martin at his best, this is worth a rent at the holidays. 5 stars
1/25/01 Sully only movie i"ve watched more than Better Off Dead....outright-fucking-bellyaching-hilarious 5 stars
12/28/00 Turtle One word: Hilarious! 5 stars
11/23/00 A.K. A hilarous yet sentimental comedy. An modern comedy classic 5 stars
10/23/00 YOUR Movie Expert This and Ferris Bueller are THE best John Hughes, before he became Barney II. 5 stars
6/26/00 Joel L. A movie ILL watch over and over again..Its that funny! 5 stars
4/16/00 Michael Casper My most favorite movie of all time! John Candy was my idol! 5 stars
3/30/00 Steve This fucking movie was fucking very funny, and very fucking entertaining. Fucking great! 5 stars
11/16/99 Lee Page Could not stop laughing 4 stars
10/21/99 Tony Daquano One of the funnist fucking films of all time 5 stars
9/06/99 Anthony Ellis One of the best road movies of all time. 5 stars
5/26/99 iyu John Candy's best film. Funny as hell, and emotionally moving. Excellent movie 5 stars
10/31/98 Silent Rob A true Thanksgiving film. Makes you laugh, cry and think! Kudos to Huges! 5 stars
9/19/98 Badass "My dogs are barking tonight" 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  25-Nov-1987 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  John Hughes

Written by
  John Hughes

Cast
  Steve Martin
  John Candy
  Laila Robins
  Michael McKean
  Kevin Bacon
  Dylan Baker



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