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When a series of auto mishaps cause several traffic jams, John Beck must
save the day or run the risk of his wife, Shelly Fabares, and the kids
running off on vacation without him.
The accidents alone were amusing. Abe Vigoda as a crash helmet-wearing driver instructor to student Nedra Volz ("There's a hole. Should I go in there?"); Wink Martindale as a frustrated golfer who takes his revenge out on the interstate when two truckers drive by and ruin his game (Martindale's calm demeanor as he sends those golf balls out into the traffic was hilarious.) and finally the truckers themselves wreck, one carrying vodka and the other oranges. Guess what they ended up doing?
The stories involve Desi Arnaz trying to get to his pregnant wife (Christopher Norris) who is being driven to the hospital by a cab driver named Snake (Vic Tayback); Ed MacMahon and Rue McLanahan as a wealthy, unhappy couple (odd casting, but they all but stole the show); the unhappy band with LIsa Hartman as a lead singer and ubiquitous acting staple Larry Hankin as the guitarist, and Fabares and Beck's unhappy marriage.
All end up stuck in the traffic mishaps, with Beck trying to find Fabares with the kids in the camper, Arnaz borrowing the band's car phone to call the cab company to find Norris, and McLanahan trading her fur for a better spot in line to use the port-a-potty. Hands down, the McLanahan-McMahon resolution, while nice and neat, is terribly cute, especially with ol' Ed on that motorbike at the end.
With guest appearances galore, from Lyle Waggoner as the incompetent traffic controller to Marcia Wallace all but reprising her 'Bob Newhart' role as the traffic division secretary, this movie watches like a less cliched episode of Love Boat without the problem-solving crew, except for Beck, that is.
And yes, the band performance at the end was the perfect conclusion to this light-hearted bit of fun.
This is definitely a guilty-pleasure movie. Such a stellar cast! I mean, Ed McMahon!! The rock band that gets stuck in the traffic jam and ends up playing to the crowd out of the back of their truck--IT'S CLASSIC!
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