I know that my day of being thankful and full of turkey is near when I have completed my annual November ritual of watching my “Thanksgiving Movie.” You may not be familiar with the term “Thanksgiving Movie.” I know there are tons of “Christmas Movies,” but only a few that take place around Thanksgiving. Well, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is my “Thanksgiving Movie.” It is also one of my all-time favorite movies.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles chronicles the misadventures of one Neal Page, an ad exec who is just trying to make it home to Chicago from New York in time for Thanksgiving. Needless to say, he does not have an easy time of it, or else there would be no movie, would there? As luck would have it, though, Neal does not have to suffer in his travels alone. Del Griffith, shower curtain ring salesman extraordinaire, comes to his rescue and makes it his personal mission to get Neal home in time for that turkey.
Steve Martin shines as the frustrated Neal Page and John Candy is at his comedic best in the role of the irrepressible salesman, Del Griffith. There are also some enjoyable cameos by other well-known actors as the duo leaves a trail of destruction across the country. It is written and directed by the legendary John Hughes. This film is rated ‘R’ for strong language, so don’t let the kids watch it unless you don’t care when the ‘F-bomb’ gets dropped repeatedly. All-in-all, though, it is a hilarious movie and even teaches some lessons about friendship and not pre-judging people.