9. “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987)
Travel around the holidays can be a blood sport. Crowds, delays and people with heightened emotions can lead to many interesting altercations. The basic concept has been done to death. It’s the “Odd Couple” paradox heightened and thrown into a variety of transportation models. A grumpy family man (Steve Martin) unwittingly teams up with a slob of a salesman (John Candy) in order to get home to his family for Thanksgiving. Naturally, a variety of hijinks ensue until director John Hughes turns on the charms. It’s a movie that works intermittently, but when it works, it works really well. On top of that, it is a perfect showcase for Steve Martin’s bountiful comedic gifts.