Posts Tagged ‘Steve Martin’

CFAC – Day 17: Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Nanu Advent Day 17

So, today is about the time that you really need to make sure you have your travel plans sorted. Everyone loves the time off work and going home for the holidays – but getting home can be a real nightmare! Today’s films help to contextualise your own woes – whether you are afraid of being stuck in traffic for a million miles, have a fear of flights, don’t trust walking through ice or have any one of a million completely viable fear for the trains, today I want to share a film with you which you can say out loud – well at least it won’t be this bad…



Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

John Hughes, 93 mins

If there was a comic actor who was taken from us too soon, it was John Candy. He is a staple figure in a lot of the films I remember watching when growing up, and this film is a great example of him at work. Steve Martin plays the everyman, stuck away from where he needs to be thanks to a situation which conspires against him. In a similar position is the overly caring John Candy, who through an excessive display of affection and other more annoying habits, frustrates and prevents Martin without realising. P,T&A is a film which makes you groan out load “oh no!” more than any other, but still is never uncomfortable to watch. If you have any qualms at all about getting home then this will relieve your worries.

But if you fancy something that won’t make you squeal with discomfort, why not try our alternative film

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)

Chris Columbus, 120 mins

Older and wiser, the sequel to the classic Culkin kids film splits the room – some think it refines the formulae,and other finds the premise stretched too far. I personally admire this film, and having seen it potentially more than the first, it still fills me with joy. Once again, on re-viewing, there is much

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to be found in this film that is bizarre, but a firm Christmas film that plays on the fears of getting home, is the perfect way to while a way your worries – althought at two hours, it could perhaps do with a little cut here and there – hence why it doesn’t get it’s own day to itself!

Steve Martin is Funnier than you


I’m sorry you may be extremely funny, I just doubt you are funnier than Steve Martin. Watch this wild and crazy guy”s Happy feet.


See he’s funnier than you. His work in the seventies was revolutionary, he made deconstructing the scene, a scene. His work on Saturday Night Live was legendary; watching him face off against Bill Murray or John Belushi is the pinnacle of American comedy in an oversaturated market. But sadly, for the greater part of our generation we see Steve Martin as the sweet buffoon from Cheaper by the Dozen or Bringing Down the House. I’m not saying these are monstrosities or even particularly terrible, I’m just trying to communicate that Steve Martin is so much better.

LA Story is an incredibly personal film, about a man pushing against LA phonies despite being a phony himself. This same joke, this same thought process is shown in his stand-up performances throughout the ‘70s. I say this because while LA story, the Jerk and Planes Trains and Automobiles are easily accessible and popular with our generation, his years on TV are not. Martin left stand-up to pursue a career in film throughout the ‘80s and many of the early performances on SNL and other shows were left to nerds like me. This is a shame, because they were ludicrously funny.

It occurs to me that this is reading like an obituary, incidentally here is an obit Martin wrote for the New Yorker . Anyway, this is not Steve Martins obituary he is alive and well, more importantly he is releasing a collection, “Television stuff”, which compiles his early material across three DVDs. Arguably, the funniest and the most important period of his career, it will be wonderful to see on something other than YouTube.

Watch Steve Martin in Planes Trains and Automobiles and LA story and you see a wickedly funny but thoughtful performer. Read his many essays and articles and you get a feeling for his sharp intellect. Listen to his bluegrass and you hear him playing bluegrass. Most importantly watch this DVD and you will see he is funnier than you.

Steve Martin: Television Stuff has been released in America and is available to order on Sadly, there is no UK release date as of yet, but really what is the cost of a region free DVD player compared to the misery of not seeing this.