The 1987 comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles is distributed by Paramount Pictures. It stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, John Candy as Del Griffith, Laila Robins as Susan Page, Michael McKean as the state trooper, and Kevin Bacon as the taxi racer.  The producer, writer, and director is John Hughes (Home Alone).

The story is about a business man named Neal Page who is trying to return home from New York to Chicago in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family.  However, this task is not as simple as it sounds for Neal.  In a race for a taxi cab, he trips over a giant trunk on the sidewalk and loses.  Next, when he finally gets a cab, a guy inadvertently steals it from him.  Neal catches only a glimpse of the guy and, while waiting at the airport, sees him again.  The guy introduces himself as Del Griffith, a shower curtain ring salesman.  Neal also notices the giant trunk sitting next to Del and realizes that the trunk he tripped over earlier was also the salesman’s.  Del is a friendly guy who tends to talk too much, which drives Neal up the wall because he is exactly the opposite.  After their plane makes an emergency landing due to a snowstorm, the two of them are forced to find an open hotel room.  Neal can’t find one but Del has a place already in mind.  Together, they take a taxi to the motel where they discover that they will have to share the room, much to Neal’s chagrin.  After he becomes annoyed with Del’s presleep ritual of clearing his sinuses, Neal finally confronts him about how irritating he is.  The next day, after a thief had broken into their room and robbed them as they slept, they hitch a ride to the nearest train station where they both board.  The two of them, despite their differences, cannot seem to stay away from each other as they run into even more unanticipated problems on their journey to Chicago.

An interesting feature is the relationship between Neal Page and Del Griffith.  Neal is a businessman who doesn’t seem to joke or have fun as much as he probably should.  Del Griffith, on the other hand, is a people person.  He is extremely friendly to everyone he meets and loves to talk.  In a way, these two could be considered an “odd couple”, like the old TV show The Odd Couple.  The two main characters, Oscar and Felix, are total opposites.  Oscar is okay with messiness while Felix is a perfectionist who must have everything in order.  One might say that Del is very much like Oscar while Neal relates better to Felix.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is another feel-good family comedy by the master of family comedies of the eighties and nineties, John Hughes.  This film really made Hughes well-known for making something other than teen comedies like Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which were both wildly successful in the mid-eighties.  Later films like Home Alone, which is still considered one of the most successful live-actions comedies of all-time, cement Mr. Hughes’ legacy into Hollywood’s elite history.

To wrap, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a great family film and, if that’s what you’re looking for, I highly recommend it!