Thursday, 30 December 2010


Writer/Director: John Hughes
Running time: 93 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK release date: 14th February 1988

Watched on Sky+ Thursday 30th December 2010.


This is one of those films that I could watch time and time again without getting bored with it. There is just something about the comic timing of Steve Martin and John Candy that I will never tire of. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK and judging by this, it’s probably a good thing. Travelling here is problematic at the best of times! But enough of my nonsense, here’s a brief summary before I tell you what I really think (summary haters please return the rental car that should be in space V5; you’ve had your fun now!).

Neal Page is a successful businessman who is working in New York just before the Thanksgiving holidays. He plans to get the 6PM flight back to Chicago, but from the off things don’t go according to plan. He finds himself befriended by Del Griffith, a shower curtain ring salesman who is headed to Chicago also. It is clear that Neal finds Del very irritating and, when they are diverted to Wichita; his mood doesn’t improve when they’re forced to share a hotel room. They next try the train, but that breaks down and they’re forced to get the bus to St Louis. I won’t tell you the whole of their trip, but needless to say this odd couple’s adventures are just beginning.

This is a really well made film with, just about, the best actors possible chosen for the starring roles. I cannot imagine this film being made with anyone else playing those parts (probably why I won’t watch ‘Due Date’ (2010)). Steve Martin plays the uptight Neal Page so well and John Candy is at his brilliant best as the really annoying Del Griffith. Oh, and look out for a non speaking role for Kevin Bacon, racing Steve Martin for a cab at the beginning of the film.

As I may have already intimated, I think the casting for this one is perfect. Add to that a superb script by John Hughes and you have a classic American comedy. I just wish filmmakers today had the skill to write and produce more films of this type; maybe I would like comedies more if they did! It’s always welcome on my TV screen and so, highly recommended.

My score: 8.5/10

IMDb Page:

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