Luke Thorne’s review published on Letterboxd:
Uptight businessman Steve Martin and super-slob John Candy become inexorably hooked up as they battle to get home for Thanksgiving in John Hughes’ warm comedy.
This is the second and final movie that Steve Martin and John Candy would do together, following their first collaboration in the comedy musical Little Shop of Horrors – and they have ended their on-screen partnership on a high.
Steve Martin plays the role of Neal Page, a man who is easily excitable but can be a control freak in the process. He is trying to get home to he can spend Thanksgiving with his wife (Laila Robbins) and his children. But his flight has been delayed and it is rerouted due to bad weather.
To make the situation worse for Neal, he has absolutely no choice but to team up with a very talkative man called Del Griffith (John Candy). Neal finds Del to be really irritating, but he must put that aside as the two have to overcome the foolishness of holiday travel in order to get home in order to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Steve Martin gives one of the best performances of his career as he acts like he is absolutely determined to get home in order to celebrate Thanksgiving, even if that does mean putting up with irritating Del all the time.
John Candy gives a good supporting performance as the man who Neal has no choice to team up with, both of them doing their own battles in order to get home. All eyes are on the two leads and they do not disappoint at all.
The direction from Hughes is very good because he allows the facial expressions to be seen to a strong effect throughout, also keeping a pleasant atmosphere happening as well and the script is written to a decent and funny standard by the director.
The camera stands out best in terms of the technical aspects, as it makes very good use of the locations the movie uses.
Overall, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a very decent warm comedy and works very well due to the excellent performances from Steve Martin and John Candy, as well as John Hughes’s direction and humorous script.