Well the holidays are here, and that means all the holiday fun. And some of that includes watching many of our favorite movies. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and that means watching one of my favorite comedies, Planes, Trains And Automobiles. I don't usually write about a 33 year old movie, but because of its uniqueness, it doesn't seem near that old. This is the quintessential Thanksgiving movie!
Steve Martin and John Candy in this very funny movie about the problems of travel at Thanksgiving, directed by an incredible director, John Hughes. Yes, there is going to be a remake with Will Smith and Kevin Hart that I can't wait to see. I'm sure it's going to be funny, and new. But I'm not here to say the original will be better, because that's not fair, or smart. But what I will say the two things that will always make this movie better than most comedies are originality and heart. In short, all good movies begin with a GREAT story and script first, and actors delivering it second, and my hope is that the remake will remember that.
The first reason everyone loves this movie so much is this. It's dedicated exclusively to Thanksgiving. There are not a lot of movies that do that. And even though the characters are over the top, and the situations are silly at times, the people and the travel climate at its root, is relatable. And second, this movie grows an enormous heart as it goes on, and yes, you do tear up at the end when Del Griffith finally is understood by those previously not open minded to look for that answer. For as slap sticky as it is, this movie ends up being poignant and powerful for a comedy.
Much of Thanksgiving is about the anticipation of it. The cooking, the wonderful smells, the wondering if everyone will make it home on time, and being thankful. And PT&A does that incredibly well. Will Neal Page get home in time, and what about this clown he's traveling with by accident? Is this a perfect comedy? It's close. In the unending sea of Christmas movies, it's great to see a Thanksgiving movie, and showcase the trials that are exclusive to that holiday.
This week, watch Planes, Trains And Automobiles with the family, or just you two on the couch in front of the fire. We always do, and we always laugh. It holds up very well, and is darn funny.
And this Thanksgiving, we could all use a laugh or two.