Friday, 15 March 2013

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

1987 - Dir: John Hughes - 1 hours 28 minutes
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 23rd March, 2013

This is one of those films that has inexplicably stuck in the international sub conscience. It was never a blockbuster. It didn’t attract the sort of critical acclaim that would make it an art house favourite. It’s never been as much of a cult movie as, say, The Blues Brothers... Yet everyone knows it, everyone has a favourite moment, a favourite quote ("You’re going the wrong way" or "Those aren’t pillows" for example) which instantly triggers an empathetic smile. Apart from the excellent writing and the fine acting, it’s probably the thought that this could happen to any of us that gives it that extra lift. Anybody who has ever endeavoured to fly or travel by bus or otherwise transport him-or-herself from one place to another has met Del. For the regular commuter, he is that dreaded archetype - the guy in the next seat. Your life is lived in mortal terror of him. If you're sitting quietly minding your own business waiting for your plane to take off and there's only one seat left on the aircraft and it's right next to you and a not-small person squeezes his way past the stewardesses and advances toward you grinning a big, blobby grin ... that's Del. Only your worst enemy -- or that fiendish deity who takes a perverse joy from scrambling our travel destinies -- would give Del the seat assignment next to yours on a crowded commuter flight. But that's exactly what happens to Neal.... or YOU!


For those of you sensitive to the use of strong language we suggest you cover your ears when you see Neal approach the car hire counter. He only uses one word. It begins with F. He uses it many, many, many times for about a minute. It’s an object lesson on how the power of a swear word diminishes the more times you use it... which might be the point the scriptwriters are making... or it might not! You can safely unstop your ears at the end of the scene - the rest of the film is F free.

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