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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles


Image credit: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, 1987

Ah the open road.  It seems a lot more appealing in Jack Kerouac novels and black & white photography.  Luckily, we have this week’s film Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (DVD/Download) to remind us of what a hellish experience  holiday travel can be.  Cramped airline seats, rude people, that guy behind you who just won’t shut up– it’s enough to drive anyone to drink.

The story of an odd couple (played by Steve Martin and John Candy) who unwittingly get stuck together on the Thanksgiving travel adventure from Hell, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a reminder that when one detail of your travel plan goes awry, the rest of the dominoes are soon to fall. Most of us have had a cancelled or delayed flight, dealt with rude rental car personnel, or endured crappy motel rooms on the way to our friends and family.  Whoever said the journey is more important than the destination has obviously never spent the night in a West Memphis Ramada.

After a couple of long days on the road, the only thing that bridges the divide between Steve Martin and John Candy is a stash of mini airplane liquor bottles. Since I’m still working through my stocking stuffers from last year’s Christmas haul, while watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles I’ll be drinking some Mini Liquors.  Your decision on whether to mix that Bacardi with some vending machine Coke or drink that Jameson straight from the bottle probably depends on how long you’ve been in the car.


By the end of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, we’re meant to realize that Thanksgiving is not just about the the hassle of travel, but rather about the familial love that you’re traveling toward. And if you’re lucky, maybe you make a new friend along the way. But before you get too comfy with this new friend, just remember- THOSE AREN’T PILLOWS!! Cheers!

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