John Hughes re-works his already over-used formulas from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and Uncle Buck in this bald-faced rip-off directed by Peter Faiman. Ed O'Neill stars as working stiff Dutch Dooley. Dutch is in love with Natalie (JoBeth Williams), who is recovering from a failed marriage to the priggish Reed (Christopher McDonald). Her 13-year-old son Doyle (Ethan Randall) blames Natalie for the break-up of the marriage. Doyle is an effete and snobbish rich kid betraying inflections of William F. Buckley. When he refuses to join his mother for Thanksgiving, Dutch heads off to Doyle's Atlanta boarding school to kidnap him and force him to go on a ride to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his mother. Doyle hates Dutch for his loutish working-class ways, but when the vengeful teenager destroys Dutch's car, the two must join forces to get to Chicago by any means necessary. Along the way the two learn to love and respect each other.
by Paul Brenner synopsis