John Hughes certainly knew how to create films with characters that we could not help but love and enjoy seeing their journey. In this case seeing two people who were complete opposites, stuck on the same journey and winding each other up, but underneath it all, they were great for each other.
Not only do we have the joy of seeing Neal Page (Steve Martin) being uptight and barely tolerating the situations he finds himself in, we have Del Griffith (John Candy) who goes with the flow of where he finds himself and in a way, maybe even has a little fun along the way.
Not only does the pair come up against the situations, it’s the reactions and willingness to deal with how and why they find each other so irritating that makes this comedy. This allows both to find their own floors and peeves to the point where we see both sides of the argument. This is a worm and funny comedy which centres around Thanksgiving and family, even if the families are the destination rather than being involved in the journey itself.
From Neal who we see talking to his wife on the phone for a few moments as he tries to get home before the holiday, to Del who talks of his wife on how he feels about her. This is a great film to watch on the holiday with your family and enjoy the misfortunes of others as they deal with the pressures they put upon themselves to get where they want to be.
This is a 1980s classic which still hold up nicely in the modern world, we still find so much of what was going on with the characters, in that it’s a story of two people being human, in a somewhat everyday possibility. Therefore we can’t help but sympathise with the characters. Maybe we consider that we take some aspects of life too seriously and we should enjoy life a little more and appreciate what we have.
Not only is this a comedy of misfortunes, but the fact that we can get into our own ruts and find those around us more than we’d like to find ourselves involved with. We should broaden our outlook on life, going beyond the world we have created around ourselves. This is a film which reminds us that there is much more positive around ourselves which we have forgotten over the years.