Combustible Celluloid
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With: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Michael McKean, Kevin Bacon, Dylan Baker, Carol Bruce, Olivia Burnette, Diana Douglas, Martin Ferrero, Larry Hankin, Richard Herd, Susan Kellerman, Matthew Lawrence, Edie McClurg
Written by: John Hughes
Directed by: John Hughes
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 93
Date: 11/25/1987

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Not a Turkey

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This slapstick comedy -- with Steve Martin playing the fussy straight man -- should never have worked, but it does, and well enough to earn a place as a holiday classic. During the Thanksgiving holiday travel rush, upright Neal Page (Steve Martin) finds himself stuck with a loutish traveling companion, shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith (John Candy). True to the title, the mismatched pair winds up taking virtually any form of transportation to get home in time for turkey dinner. Writer/director John Hughes balances the humor and pathos very nicely and Martin and Candy find a lovely comic chemistry, creating many memorable moments ("those aren't pillows!"). Thought it's sweet enough for the whole family, the movie earned an "R" rating because of one scene in which Neal throws a tantrum, using the "F" word something like 20 times.

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