Planes, Trains and Automobiles & Summer Rental & Foul Play
As he did in his screenplay for Silver Streak (1974), writer/director Colin Higgins mixes life-and-death melodrama with broad slapstick in Foul Play. Goldie Hawn stars as Gloria Mundy, a recent divorcée whose attempts to start life anew in San Francisco are bollixed up when she is inadvertently swept up in an assassination plot against the Pope. Offering/i>/i>… See more details below
As he did in his screenplay for Silver Streak (1974), writer/director Colin Higgins mixes life-and-death melodrama with broad slapstick in Foul Play. Goldie Hawn stars as Gloria Mundy, a recent divorcée whose attempts to start life anew in San Francisco are bollixed up when she is inadvertently swept up in an assassination plot against the Pope. Offering sometimes dubious aid and comfort to Gloria is bumbling federal agent Tony Carlson (Chevy Chase). The film's comedy ranges from the farcical seduction efforts by musician Stanley Tibbets (Dudley Moore) to the zany, gag-filled car-chase finale. Foul Play features character actors Rachel Roberts and Eugene Roche as villains, Burgess Meredith as a martial arts-happy landlord, and Billy Barty as a long-suffering religious bookseller. It also packs in a memorable "throwaway" gag involving a profane Scrabble game played by sweet little old ladies Queenie Smith and Hope Summers.Were it not for its profanity-laden opening scenes, John Hughes' Planes, Trains and Automobiles might have been suitable family entertainment: certainly it's heaps less violent and mean-spirited than Hughes' Home Alone. En route to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his family, easily annoyed businessman Neal Page (Steve Martin) finds his first-class plane ticket has been demoted to coach, and he must share his flight with obnoxious salesman Del Griffith (John Candy). A sudden snowstorm in Chicago forces the plane to land in Wichita. Unable to find a room in any of the four-star hotels, Neal is compelled to accept Del's invitation to share his accommodations in a cheapo-sleazo motel. Driven to distraction by Del's annoying personal habits, the ungrateful Neal lets forth with a stream of verbal abuse. That's when Del delivers the anticipated (but always welcome) "I don't judge, why should you?"-type speech so common to John Hughes flicks. The shamefaced Neal tries to make up to Del, but there's a bumpy time ahead as the mismatched pair make their way back to Chicago, first in a balky train, then by way of a refrigerator truck. We know from the outset that the oil-and-water Neal and Del will be bosom companions by the end of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but it's still a fun ride. The best bit: a half-asleep Del thinking that he's got his hand tucked between two pillows -- until his bedmate, Neal, bellows "Those aren't pillows!"This routine comedy is about a series of misadventures during a family vacation at the beach and stars John Candy (who died of a heart attack while filming in Mexico in 1994) as John Chester and Karen Austin as his long-suffering wife Sandy. When the family leave for what turns out to be a pretty decrepit shack on a public beach, Jack eventually locks horns with the owner of this dubious piece of real estate, and their conflict terminates in a boat race in which Jack and his motley crew are at first glance, and even second, no match for the others in the race. In the meantime, there are plenty of skits with Jack dressed as anything from an ample, unintentional likeness of a geisha to the normal tourist dude in a Hawaiian shirt. His wife and daughter tackle their own problems, related to sex in one way or another, mostly another.
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