Directed by: John Hughes
Produced by: John Hughes
Written by: John Hughes
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Starring: Steve Martin and John Candy
Release date: November 25, 1987
Steve Martin plays the tightly wound Neal Page, a bundle-of-nerves straight man in the style of Bud Abbott. John Candy portrays the innocent but always skewered Del Griffith, a shower curtain ring salesman who seems to live in a world governed by a different set of rules, a la Lou Costello.
The film is jarred by a scene in which Steve Martin's character goes on an F-word tirade against a car rental agent, played by Edie McClurg. Some consider the scene especially funny; others consider it out of place in an otherwise warm, sweet film. The F-word is used nineteen times in one minute, and is the sole reason for the film receiving an R-rating. If the scene had been cut, the film would certainly have been rated PG or PG-13.
The movie follows the story of Neal Page as he tries to return to his family for Thanksgiving after being on a business trip. The journey is doomed from the outset, with Del Griffith interfering by snatching the taxi cab that Page had hailed for himself. The two inevitably pair up later and begin an absurdly error-prone adventure to help Page back to his home. When every mode of transit fails them, what should have been a brief New York to Chicago flight turns into a mishmash of cancelled, broken, and worthless trips in the wrong direction.
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