Humor Meets Heart: Aesthetic-Driven Transformation in Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

  • Matthew McKeague Lock Haven University
Keywords: comedy, aesthetics, humor theory, Comic Triple, visual storytelling, John Candy, Steve Martin, John Hughes


In John Hughes’ Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, media aesthetics merge with humor theory to create comedy with an emotional impact. During one of the film’s pivotal scenes at the Braidwood Inn, unwilling travel companions Neil Page (Steve Martin) and Del Griffith (John Candy) clash in an argument that transforms both characters for the better. This scene playfully navigates through humor and pain while skillfully using framing, depth of field, and editing to create a comedy classic of the 1980s.