Rental Car Movie Gags Entertain During Holidays

Movie-loving mobster Chili Palmer, played by John Travolta, goes to Tinseltown to collect a debt from a movie producer. A running joke involves Palmer ordering a Cadillac rental but instead getting an Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan and being told that it's the "Cadillac of minivans." A rental car also gets laughs in "Be Cool," the "Get Shorty" sequel.

'Tomorrow Never Dies'

Action/adventure/thriller, 1997

In a car chase scene in a parking garage, James Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, uses a remote control to send his missile-equipped BMW 750iL soaring off a parking deck's roof and into an Avis rental car agency window many floors below. "We've rented in Europe dozens of times," says traveler David Frisbie of Del Mar, Calif. "Our returns have been a bit smoother but much less interesting."

'Jackass: The Movie'

Comedy, 2002

The first movie, spun off from the MTV television series, shows people doing extreme, dangerous stunts and pranks. In one stunt called Rent-A-Car Crash-Up Derby, Johnny Knoxville rents a car and gets it equipped for a demolition derby. The rented Ford Contour gets smashed to bits.

'Seinfeld'

It's not from the big screen, but readers mentioned this scene the most after the one in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." In the "The Alternate Side," Jerry reserves a car, but when he and Elaine go to pick it up, he's told no car is left. Jerry then launches into a tirade admired by many a business traveler.

Rental car industry consultant Neil Abrams says the scene resonates so broadly that he often mentions it in his industry speeches. Frequent traveler Bill Zito of Milwaukee says it's happened to him.

"But I was never able to handle it like Seinfeld did," he says.

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