#27: Planes, Trains & Automobiles — dir. John Hughes
This was a bitch. Pick your favorite John Hughes is like sending a starving man to a buffet and saying “Okay. You can have one food item. Go.” There’s so many different reasons for liking so many of the films. My love of John Hughes is well-documented. So I decided, alright, forego all the high school films. Ferris Bueller used to be on my top five. Because I appreciated the message of it. And while there is that sociopathic Willy Wonka as horror story element to it, it’s still my favorite of the high school flicks. But I went for the other works. And I knew it’d have to include John Candy. So I picked Planes, Trains & Automobiles.
I think ultimately, it comes down to homesickness. This film is about trying to get home to the people you love. But it’s also about realizing that while you look down on others, you’re probably just a big an asshole if not bigger. Which is a key lesson I still have to learn. But yeah, I mean, trying to fly home, with my family scattered to the four winds, and trying to drive cross country, it’s a bitch and a bear.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles is incredibly quotable, as is most of John Hughes work. The header was almost the entire exchange between Steve Martin and Edie McClurg over the rental car. I WANT FOUR FUCKING WHEELS AND A SEAT. I want a fucking car and I want it right fucking now. It’s an R-rated film. And for basically that scene and the cab driver one. There’s no nudity. There’s no sexuality. Other than a little ball-handling. There’s no violence. Just swearing. Stupid fucking MPAA.
You could probably fit most any John Hughes film in this slot. But yeah, this one will always have a place in my heart.