John Hughes fantastic road trip movie sees a slightly snobby and well-off advertising executive (played by Steve Martin) forced to team up with the loud, slightly annoying but always humorous shower curtain ring salesman (played by the brilliant John Candy) in order for them both to get home before the Thanksgiving holiday, yet getting home is proving more difficult than they imagined.
John Hughes brilliant script provides us with many laugh-out-loud moments and plenty of slapstick that will leave your sides hurting, while the performances of both Martin and Candy are outstanding, especially the latter who easily steals the show as the annoying but funny and lovable travelling salesman. What makes this film stand out above the rest though as well as making it a perfect classic is the sad but somewhat happy ending which totally changes the tone of the film (but not in a bad way) and pieces everything the viewer has seen throughout the movie together to explain what this film has actually been all about, and while it is enough for you to shed a tear or too the message is not over done to the extent that it is forced at you. It does provide a powerful message and certainly makes you think.
As many have said, and I would agree with them here, this is undoubtedly one of both Steve Martins and the great John Candys best performances as well as some of John Hughes better work. I would also go as far as to say its the best road trip movie I have seen and one of the best comedies of the eighties, that has never been matched by simular modern day equivalents. In all; Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a fantastically funny movie about family and friendship (amongst other things), that does have a sad and thought-provoking underlying message that is made all the better by a fantastic script and some outstanding acting.