‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ was one of John Hughes’s comedies that he made whilst in his prime. It was another film that was something of a revelation. It showed how much wonderful comedy could be made out of having two extremely unsuited people being made to live out of each others pockets for a while.
Think ‘The Odd Couple’ with the same kind of pathos and good humour. Steve Martin and John Candy play characters caught up in the US traffic log-jam trying to get home for Christmas. Whichever method of transport they use, whether it be by boat, train or plane, new impasses are reached. And..no matter how much they may try to lose each other it always ends up that they land up next to each other.
There are some hysterical scenes. Steve Martin totally going off at a female airport counter clerk when she is too officious and can ‘t get him on an urgent flight. Martin kissing Candy on the eralobe thinking whilst he was fast asleep thinking that he was in fact his wife.
In the end though what I will remember about ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ was that it was a film with a lot of heart.
There are some truly touching scenes as the film moves towards its climax. When Martin realises that Candy does not have a home to go to for Christmas, that his wife had died many years previously, and invites Candy over for a Christmas dinner with his family it’s a scene that really grabs the heart.
All in all, with its rich vein of comedy and a heart of gold, this was a very fine film.