Flash Stabone’s review published on Letterboxd:
A great film on so many levels.
First...the comedy. There are countless moments of hilarity throughout this film. It would be impossible to list them all. Just the mannerisms of Martin and Candy can get you rolling. What's really great about this is that the comedy isn't forced. It feels completely natural. To me the highlight of the film comedy wise is from the moment Candy meets Martin again at the Airport in St. Louis to their arrival at the Motel where they bargain to get a room. That entire portion of the film is hard to get through without pain due to laughing so much.
Hughes was a great talent behind the camera and more so when it came to writing. The man just knew how to balance things out and how to make everything human. He has a knack for starting scenes out making you laugh and ending them making you wipe your eyes. Really unique.
Martin is excellent. He is so much more than a Comedic Actor. He nailed this role. A real tight-ass, easily annoyed and pretty much has no regard for anyone's feelings. He doesn't go out of his way to step on people and their happiness-he doesn't even realize he's doing it. But he does have a heart in there somewhere and through this journey it comes out and you can see the progression. Early on he really couldn't care less about anything or anyone-towards the middle he still acts like an ass but shows immediate regret although he doesn't reveal it to others around him-towards the conclusion he is not necessarily a changed man but the goodness in him is more upfront.
Candy's best performance of his career. Del Griffith-we all know a Del Griffith somewhere. As annoying as this man can get you can't help but let him creep into your good nature and begin to love him. Candy captures the comedy side easily-it's the dramatic side that's always been impressive with this role. From the first Motel scene to how he handles being 'dumped' by Martin to the finale...the man chokes you up. A great talent-such a memorable role.
This is such a great Holiday film to watch. That's another element to this that Hughes got right. It's not just a film that takes place during a Holiday-it teaches you-it's very meaning is what that very Holiday is about. It's a film that the entire family can watch and enjoy.
Such a great journey when you think about it. The films takes place over the span of 3 days and everything goes wrong at every step along the way from the second we meet Martin sitting in that Conference Room. And the problems-like everything else in this film-feels natural. Flights get delayed-things breakdown-accidents happen-we've been through it all and this film makes going through those experiences an enjoyable watch.
Overall to me this is a Classic Holiday film. It's ridiculously funny-it's got heart-it moves you-it makes you appreciate what you have in your life. A beautiful, REAL film.