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Thursday, November 17, 2011 2:08 PM

This month I was going to review a very profound book on Thanksgiving, a historical piece that would shed some light on the reality of how the holiday came about, something that would leave everyone in awe of the truth, and most definitely make it impossible to view Thanksgiving the same way ever again.

But instead I decided to review Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

While this is obviously not a new release (or a book), it is something that I feel would appeal much more to most people as Thanksgiving approaches. No, it doesn’t shed any light on the history of Thanksgiving but it is a heart-warming story that is appropriate for this time of year, since the plot centers around two men attempting to get home in time to celebrate the holiday with their families.

Released in 1987, many of you have undoubtedly seen this. I urge you, though; if it’s been a while, to watch it again. This has become Thanksgiving’s answer to It’s a Wonderful Life at our house, as I’ve been watching it every year right before the holiday, starting a few years ago (which was when I first saw the film in its entirety). I have shown this film in my college courses, though (with an assignment built around it, of course) and they all loved it. It appeals to many generations. (Not for children, though.  There’s a little language.)
John Hughes is well-known for his teen comedies, but this is one adults can relate to – especially when it comes to the hassles of traveling – something that anyone who has ever traveled would have experienced at least once. Sure, it’s over-the-top. It’s goofy. It’s cheesy. But it’s funny. I truly didn’t appreciate it when I watched bits and pieces of it years and years ago as I recall my parents viewing it. And the humor of John Candy and Steve Martin should be appreciated. This movie came out when comedy didn’t have to try so hard, it didn’t have to beat the audience over the head with a concept or push the envelope so far just to stand out. It’s just an outlandish, funny movie.

While the overall plot centers around two men who continually seem to wind up together as they try to make their way home for the holidays, and all the shenanigans that ensue, at the core of this movie is love. I laugh my way through for the most part, but the end does bring a tear to my eye, as it brings home the real meaning of Thanksgiving for most of us – a time to spend with our families and loved ones, and a time to really be thankful for what we have.

Sara Berelsman lives in Delphos with her husband and their two daughters and leads the book club discussions at the Delphos Public Library. She is thankful for the above movie, 1 of 10 she and her husband can agree on.

Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 4:09 PM

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