Written and directed by John Hughes, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, a cookie cutter advertising executive on his way home to Chicago from New York to see his wife and kids for Thanksgiving. After his taxi is stolen by a jolly but crude salesman named Del Griffiths, (John Candy) Neal then gets stuck next to Del on his flight to Chicago after getting bumped out of first class.
As their flight to Chicago includes Del constantly annoying Neal, the flight gets rerouted to Wichita after a terrible snowstorm. With Neal stranded in Wichita with no lodging or transportation he has no option but to go along with Del for the evening, which unfortunately for Neal turns into a long and painful road trip all the way to Chicago filled with calamity and unmitigated disaster.
While I’m sure this film gets better with repeated viewings, I thought this film was just alright. I also absolutely lost it during Steve Martin’s tirade at the rental car counter and definitely have to rank it among my favorite on-screen meltdowns. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles easily ranks among the better road trip comedies I have seen. Come correct and come often – a very enthusiastic 3 stars out of 5.