Great holiday movies: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

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I know this is more of a Thanksgiving movie and not a Christmas movie, but since the two bleed together these days, I don’t think anyone will mind.

I love this movie. If this were a fuzzy memory, I’d wax nostalgic about how this was the first movie I saw in the theater where I laughed until I cried.

Steve Martin’s tirade in this scene is classic. Even though John Candy turns it around in the end, the writing of the tirade is spot-on.

You’re no saint. You got a free cab, you got a free room–and someone’ll listen to your boring stories! Didn’t you notice on the plane when you started talking, eventually I started reading the vomit bag? Didn’t that give you some sort of clue, like maybe this guy is not enjoying it? Y’know, not everything is an anecdote, you have to discriminate! You choose things are funny or mildly amusing! You’re a miracle! Your stories have none of that! They’re not even amusing accidentally! “Honey, I’d like you to meet Del Griffith, he’s got some amusing anecdotes for ya! And, oh, here’s a gun so you can blow your brains out, you’ll thank me for it! I could tolerate any insurance seminar. For days, I could sit there, and listen to them go on and on with a big smile on my face! And they’d say, how can you stand it? And I’d say, because I’ve been with Del Griffith, I can take anything! Y’know what they’d say, they’d say, “I know what you mean, shower curtain ring guy…whoa!” It’s like going on a date with a Chatty-Kathy doll. I expect you to have a string on your chest that you pull out and have to snap back. Except I wouldn’t pull it out and snap it back, you would! (imitating) Dyah dyah dyah dyah! And, you know, when you’re telling these little stories, here’s a good idea: have a point. It makes it makes it so much more interesting for the listener!

Hats off to John Hughes. When he was good, he was very, very good. Rest in peace.

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