PACK IN THE LAUGHTER!
After a business trip to New York City, Neal Page (Steve Martin) is trying to get home to his family in Chicago for Thanksgiving, but frequently gets stuck with a very loud co-traveler (John Candy)… Director John Hughes is back on the roads after National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) for a comedy that takes great advantage of Martin and Candy’s different comic personas. As the odd couple endures one crisis after another, we are treated to some very funny scenes. When it comes to sentimentality, Hughes doesn’t go overboard but rather lets his formulaic story soar thanks to its heartfelt emotions; there’s a reason why the movie has become a Thanksgiving classic.
1987-U.S. 93 min. Color. Produced, written and directed by John Hughes. Cast: Steve Martin (Neal Page), John Candy (Del Griffith), Laila Robins (Susan Page), Michael McKean, Kevin Bacon, Dylan Baker… Ben Stein.
Last word: “When I was working on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, John [Hughes] came in one morning with a manilla envelope and handed it to me. I asked what it was, and he said, ‘The first sixty pages of my next picture, you want to cut it?’ So I read it and it included [the scene where Steve Martin drops one F-bomb after another]. He had written it in one draft in one sitting the night before. He sat at the typewriter for around ten hours, writing six pages an hour. He could write almost as fast as he could type for sustained periods, and those first sixty pages he had written of Planes, Trains and Automobiles never changed.” (Editor Paul Hirsch, RogerEbert.com)