Happy Thanksgiving!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Directed and written by John Hughes

Just a quick entry this week because writing time is fairly limited as I approach the last few days of NaNoWriMo and the growing concern that I might not make it to the 50,000 word target on Monday! So I thought I’d cheat a little and just post clip from one of the greatest comedies of all time and one that is perfect for Thanksgiving; Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

This superbly written comedy of errors that unfolds as two polar opposites share the titular vehicles in an attempt to get home for Thanksgiving is a wonderful example of just how important character is to a story. The two leads in this film bring the characters to life from the page and invest them with so much humanity and believable qualities that we, as an audience, are right up there on screen with them. We all know characters that are like them in some way and we have all been in a situation where someone we know or have met is annoying the hell out of us.

The scene above plays out perfectly as we are, at first, also irritated by Del and share Neal’s frustration with the situation he finds himself in. The scene twists and turns and beautifully lays their cards out on the table as Neal vents spleen and Del opens his heart about the way Neal behaves to him. We see Del’s vulnerability coming through his annoying veneer and catch a fleeting glimpse of the the warm, family man, that is lurking inside Neal. It sets the rest of the film up nicely and, although we might be able to see where it is going from this point, it is a hell of a lot of fun going on the journey.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is my wife’s favourite film and definitely one of mine. It is as funny now as it was the first time you saw it and that is largely down to excellent characters that we can all relate to.

Right, I’m off to count my NaNo words… again.

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Posted on November 26, 2015, in Character, empathy, Films and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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