Been years and years since I’d seen this one; caught up to it at a local theater doing a classics series. And, wow, does it ever hold up. This movie is just brilliantly directed by John Hughes. Hughes has a real flair for comic timing and a lot of the sequences work as well as they do because of the editing and such. The sequence where Candy is driving on the wrong side of the highway is a perfect example. Start to finish, it’s just a masterfully done sequence, all leading up that hilarious shot of the luggage shooting unbelievably high into the air in absolute silence. Brilliant. Steve Martin is really, really great here; he delivers the jokes to perfection and the way he slowly progresses over the film from a slightly annoyed businessman to an unhinged madman is wonderful. But this is Candy’s movie. I have no problem saying this is easily his best film and his best performance. He takes a ludicrous, silly character and absolutely makes him come to life. As silly and over-the-top as the character is, Candy imbues him with a genuine heart and soul. The scene in the hotel room where Martin rips Candy up one side and down the other is brilliant; any other comedian would play the reaction as anger, but Candy just gets sadder and sadder the longer the rant goes. You can often see the awkwardness and the pain behind the schtick Candy’s doing; or rather, and this is key, the schtick the CHARACTER is doing. Candy shows us the pain behind the character’s floundering efforts to be affable and upbeat. He’s working on multiple levels here and it’s just astounding to watch. Anyway, I remembered thinking this was a good movie. Well, I was wrong. It’s not good, it’s great. It’s a genuine comedy masterpiece with surprising depth to it. Highly recommended. 4 stars.
tl;dr – Martin & Candy have great chemistry and Candy is career best in this surprisingly character driven and emotional comedy masterpiece. 4 stars.