Planes Trains and Automobiles

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The master of blending comedy, drama and real people, we can think of no one we’d rather spend an awkward holiday dinner with than John Hughes. So this week on the show we’ll heap praise on the filmmaker who delivered our teenage years and families back to us on the screen. To help us out, “You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried” author Susannah Gora joins us to share some fantastic insights into that old Hughesian magic. We’ll also explore why there are so few Thanksgiving movies (you still have leftovers, right?) and rattle off a list of them (which will naturally lead us right back to John Hughes!). Sweet, sweet symmetry. You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #42 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

It’s weirdly easy to forget, but Neal and Dell make it home at the end of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The film is so much about the journey that it always strikes me funny to remember that they end up in that foyer with 90s sweaters and love surrounding them. For Neal, it’s about returning to his kingdom, and for Dell, it’s about finding a new place to settle into. Leave it to John Hughes, there’s a powerful message delivered when Steven Martin jumps off that train to find John Candy sitting alone in the station. It might be the birth of the bromance, but that’s for a different article. Obviouly PTandA is one of only a couple dozen Thanksgiving-themed movies (Rocky totally counts, right?), so it’s a nice annual touchstone for the lengths we go to in order to be in the same turkey-centric room with the people we love. It’s becoming a bit of a tradition around here to give thanks (which is something I’d be thankful for if it didn’t cause a paradox that resulted in Bruce Willis coming from the future with gold strapped to his back), but it’s also nice this time of year to remember that we only have to go as far as our computers to be surrounded by FSR’s friends and family. Although it makes the turkey part trickier. This year, we Rejects — including Landon Palmer, Kevin Carr, Allison Loring, Christopher Campbell, Nathan Adams, Robert Levin, Kate Erbland, Luke Mullen and […]

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planestrainstruth-1

It’s hard to find a movie for this time of year. I’m not talking about Christmas movies. Lord knows, Hollywood is lousy with Christmas movies. Instead, I’m talking about Thanksgiving movies. Usually Hollywood skips Turkey Day altogether and starts releasing Christmas movies in early November (including relatively recent releases like A Christmas Carol in 2009, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas in 2011, and The Best Man Holiday just this year). Still, there are a few Thanksgiving movies knocking around, and they’re not all as bad as Free Birds. One of the most loveable and endearing Thanksgiving movies is John Hughes’ 1987 comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The film follows businessman Neal Page (Steve Martin) trying to get home to Chicago from New York City two days before Thanksgiving. He stumbles into an unlikely travel buddy in Del Griffith (John Candy) and ends up on a three-day misadventure using almost every known form of ground transportation. As a traveler myself, I know it can be extremely costly as much as it is time consuming, and that got me thinking: How much would a trip like this actually set Neal and Del back?

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One week from today, everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, turns 25 years old. By a certain logic, we should therefore make next Sunday’s Scenes We Love post devoted to the John Hughes classic. But that would make it late for the holiday this Thursday — on or before which many sites will post their obligatory write-up on the wacky road comedy, which stars John Candy and Steve Martin as unfortunate traveling companions on their way home for turkey day. Also an occasion and a beloved film like this deserve the eight days of celebrating. Unlike some other memorable and highly quotable works, this one is not the sort that we could include every single scene as a scene we love. Mostly, we just refuse to feature the famous “those aren’t pillows!” bit, and not just because of the homophobic aspect. It’s just really not that funny. Not that all the scenes below are funny. What we love about PT&A is how even though it’s a comedy it’s quite sad. Sure it kinda ends happily, but just before that warm final greeting there’s something depressing about the story. Hughes was great at making us laugh enough for someone who clearly had a lot of gloomy ideas in his head.

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Your Sister’s Sister Jack (Mark Duplass) is still suffering bouts of depression a year after the death of his brother, so when his best friend Iris (Emily Blunt), who happens to be his brother’s ex, offers up her family’s cabin for a few days of rest he jumps at the chance. Unbeknownst to both of them Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) has also holed up in the cabin after a rough breakup with her girlfriend. Hilarity and romantic complications ensue. Writer/director Lynn Shelton has moved beyond the confines of her early mumblecore career and delivered a film filled with humor, honesty and a compelling romantic triangle. The three leads are at the top of their game and form a trio I would happily marry. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Trailer, commentaries]

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Earlier this week we showed you the horrific short film made by the marketing folks at HomeAway featuring the Griswolds, Clark (Chevy Chase) and Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo). It was a train-wreck. This was clear, even to someone like me, who is a bigger fan than most of the Vacation franchise. Apparently it wasn’t clear to New Line…

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cultwarrior-thanksgiving

This week’s Culture Warrior asks why there aren’t more movies about Thanksgiving. Christmas always seems to hog all the good ones.

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Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man

Teaming with Todd Phillips and Zach Galifianakis for a post-hangover party.

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