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PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES

year: 1987
Those in the know, know already, that John Hughes wrote the original VACATION. Based on his childhood, the story, originally published in National Lampoon magazine... hence NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION... is a pure road movie. So perhaps, as John became the king of high school teen flicks, catapulting the Brat Pack phenomenon, he decided to write and direct his very own road picture... but the family stays at home.

Steve Martin goes outside his usual likable funny guy box and plays the uptight victim of a journey through hell, trying to make it from a business trip meeting to the outer Chicago suburbs in time for Thanksgiving, caught within the unpredictable constraints of all the titular vessels with the kind of boob you never want to be stuck with...

But no surprise that John Candy plays the part of the nightmare bad luck charm with such cuddly perfection, Martin winds up seeming like... a real jerk. Thus the only drawbacks occur when suddenly, intruding upon the hilarious team-up, Hughes provides unnecessary PRETTY IN PINK style synthesizers, giving Candy too much pathos for his own good and slowing down the hilarious, and nearly perfect, double whammy comedic rhythm you won't be able to experience just once.

RATING: ****
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