John Candy Movie Overload

I was up until the birds started chirping a few nights ago, deeply transfixed on my bedroom TV. The wife picked up a John Candy box set for me (what a sweet heart) out of the blue, which, to my delight, was exactly how I wanted to blow an entire evening away. I’d already seen every movie in the box set, many, many times (my mom ran a video store – I’ve seen everything), but that didn’t stop me from enjoying almost 8 uninterrupted hours of good ol’ John Candy branded comedy.

I had forgotten certain parts in some of the movies, like the infamous “Rosy F_____G Cheeks” scene from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. (NSFW)

John Hughes films, with PTaA being no exception, always seem to have really thoughtful, heartwarming endings. I always loved the way this film turned out, which, for the duration of the film, was completely unforeseeable. Steve Martin does a great job at being pissed off, and otherwise completely apathetic to anything John Candy’s character was up to. I found myself almost grinding my teeth in frustration as well, adding to the overall effect the movie had on me. Both actors were fantastic in this movie, specifically in the way they reacted to each other, creating a truly unique and humorous film experience.

Uncle Buck was the second feature, which, as many of you should know, is one of John Hughes’ greatest films. I especially love the washer and dryer scene, but sadly couldn’t find a youtube video of it. Home Alone star, Macaulay Culkin, was pretty damn funny playing the “snotty kid” roll he always did, which fit really well with the type of rough comedy the film features. I have to say this too, the Eighties time-stamp this film falls into is just awesome. The best part of Uncle Buck though, isn’t the story, or the jokes, or John Candy’s presence on screen; It was that damn car – The Uncle Buck Mobile:

My parents used to have a car like that, although it didn’t backfire every time it was put in Park. Aww… I miss the room that car had.

The final movie in the box set was The Great Outdoors. I’m not really big on the movie, other than the fact Dan Aykroyd costars with John Candy. There is a love interest for the oldest son in the movie too, who has a tenancy to freak me out every time I see her. She looks like an EX girlfriend, except has better hair, which is hard to believe considering the film took place in the 80’s; Girls didn’t have nice hairdos back then like they do now.

The whole movie is generally easy to overlook. It’s the overdone story of 2 families coming together on disagreeable terms, and are forced into learning stupid lessons about life somewhere between hating each other, and coming together to fend off a bald bear.

I had a really great time watching these John Candy films again. I was pretty upset when I found out he kicked the bucket back in the 90’s. He is kind of a household name here in Canada, due in no small part to his time on SCTV. I used to watch it almost every day when I was a kid, causing me to really appreciate John’s work in Home Alone, which incidentally paired him up with SCTV costar Catherine O’Hara.

It really is a shame that he passed away, because I know he had many more great titles left in him. His signature brand of comedy, while extensively cataloged, will be truly missed. From Barf to Buck, John Candy, you were truly great.

Thanks for the great evening.

R.I.P John Candy 1950 – 1994


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