This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes, again, from Rob of Movie Rob. Thanks so much, Rob – you’re a Hughes-reviewing MACHINE! Lol! Let’s see if he liked Dutch. 🙂
“I feel the pain in my crotch in my teeth!” – Dutch
Number of Times Seen – 1 (11 Mar 2014)
Brief Synopsis – A man agrees to accompany his girlfriend’s son on a trip from Georgia to Chicago in order for them all to be together for Thanksgiving.
My Take on it – This movie is a bit of a disappointment for me because John Hughes tries to take a formula that worked so well for him in Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) and reinvent it for a child and an adult road trip.
The characters in this movie (Dutch and Doyle) just aren’t as interesting as those of Del and Neal. Hughes also “dumbs”-down the humor here and most of the supposedly funny lines just make you roll your eyes instead of cracking a smile.
I think that that’s the key as to why many of Hughes’ later movies didn’t work. He tried so hard to recreate the success of his earlier movies that he recycled many of the situations and tried to use new characters and locales that just don’t work as well. This is actually quite apparent in many of his movies, not just here.
Ed O’Neill, is a very talented actor. This is easy to see in everything he does because instead of always being typecast as an Al Bundy kind of guy, he is usually able to transcend that kind of role and successfully create new characters for himself very different from the Al Bundy’s of the world.
The few scenes that do work well here are few and far between.
Stick to Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) if you want to see a movie like this that does it right!
Bottom Line – Hughes’ attempt to make a more kid friendly road movie in a similar vain to Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) just doesn’t work so well despite Ed O’Neill trying his best.
Rating – BAFTA Worthy