Watch This DVD: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Bad travel happens. You can either get really angry about it, or find the amusement hidden within. To help you find that comedy, I highly recommend the definitive "everything that can go wrong does go wrong" business travel movie and John Hughes classic: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (Netflix, Amazon).
Neal Page (Steve Martin) is in New York and trying to get home to Chicago the day before Thanksgiving, traditionally the worst travel day of the whole year in the US. He can't find a taxi (beaten out for one in a cameo by Kevin Bacon), his flight is delayed, and then he gets seated next to the world's most talkative man in the form of shower ring salesman Del Griffith (the late John Candy). Together, they get rerouted to Wichita, break down on a train, ride a bus to St. Louis, and burn up a rental car before finally making it home.
While the whole movie is great, for me, three parts in particular stand out as comedy gold:
- When Neal and Del have to share a hotel room in Wichita, Neal makes the mistake of letting Del take a shower first. When the water pressure suddenly shuts down while he has soap in his face, Neal flees to the bathroom sink, which is filled with water, as salvation. Only when opening his eyes does he discover that Del's dirty socks were soaking in the basin. Eeew. Then, he realizes that Del has used all the towels and he must dry himself off with a washcloth (we've all been there).
- Their ride from the Wichita hotel to the bus station is provided by Owen, the son of the hotel owner. Upon greeting Neal, he spits tobacco juice and wipes the excess off his face with his right hand, which he then uses to shake hands with Neal, all in one well-practiced motion.
- In the movie's definitive scene (and the one that got it an R rating), Steve Martin deals with a less-than-helpful rental car clerk with a powerful monologue that features the f-word 19 times. I think everyone wishes they could, just once, say these things to a really bad customer service representative.
Labels: Watch This DVD