Cat Critics: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1988)

This Thanksgiving, don’t miss this holiday classic.


Avery Lester

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, starring Steve Martin and John Candy, is a classic Thanksgiving film.

Avery Lester, Staff Writer

Picture this familiar scene: you put on your fuzzy socks and your ugly sweater and snuggle up in your favorite blanket. You turn on the television and put on your favorite Christmas, Valentine’s, or Halloween movie. We all have our favorite holiday movies, but one holiday always seems left out of the mix: Thanksgiving. When it comes to Thanksgiving movies, there is only one that towers above them all: John Hughes’ hilarious Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

The film is not only funny, it’s engaging, entertaining, and a deeply rewarding experience. Starring two comedy idols, Steve Martin and the late John Candy, it tells the story of two strangers who meet on a delayed flight, causing a chain reaction. Both must race home in trains, automobiles, and every other way they can think of to get home in time for Thanksgiving with their families.

The story is incredibly predictable and ridiculous but you should never critique a movie on what it is about, only how it tells it. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is told in such an entertaining way in part due to the stellar comedic performances by Candy and Martin. But you also need to credit the script’s comedy.

What a hysterical movie this is. It is funny, funny, funny. This movie contains hilarious quips and moments of comical whimsiness. In a literal sense, this is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, and what a good time it is.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles tells the story of the holidays. It’s not a super technical film, some jokes don’t seem to land, and it does seem to drag on a bit in the last quarter. But I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It’s one of the landmark holiday movies, perfect to watch on a cold Thursday afternoon.