As a kid I loved watching John Candy films and adulthood hasn’t changed my love for them. I have been meaning to watch this film for some time which in my opinion is his best acting role. He died far too young and I watch his films with an element of sadness that he is no longer with us. If you look at his work it is pretty impressive. Splash, Uncle Buck, Cool Runnings, Home Alone, Trains, planes and automobiles are a few of my favourites. It is also clear from interviews that he was a lovely human being who sadly succumbed to an addiction to food. He used his size for great comedy value, but deep down it brought tears and sadness. He was the typical funny big man who wasn’t so happy about his size.
Planes,Trains and Automobiles is the story of one man trying to get home for thanks giving. The trip seems to be doomed from the taxi ride from work, the plane ride, train ride and you guessed it car ride. The elements are against him as is the busy holiday travel schedule. He is also thwarted by a big bumbling bafoon who seems to be waiting on every corner, station, hotel and roadway.
Their trip is full of disaster which is all part of the fun. Living in close proximity to eachother leads to fun, laughter anger and arguments as the two men discover they are chalk and cheese. Everything the Big bafoon touches goes wrong and leads them into trouble. You can’t dislike him as he has a good heart and a deep sadness which comes through in an emotional speech. Despite this being a comedy John Candy proves that he can be a serious actor. The trip ends happily although it does reveal Candy’s characters sadness. Despite this the film is a heart warming holiday film.
Steve Martin plays the opposition to the bafoon. He is straight laced, pent up, judgemental and argumentative and just wants to get home. You can really feel his frustration and can understand why he gets so frustrated. Candy’s character loved by many, but not someone you could live with. We all have friends that we love and cherish, but it doesn’t mean we could live with them.
This is a brilliant film that keeps your attention the whole way through. The strength is in the two performances from Candy and Martin. The screen is pretty much taken up by the two of them. Enjoy the fun, cringe at their circumstances, feel sad and feel warm at the perfect happy ending.
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