MBTI: Neil Page and Del Griffith- ISTJ and ENFP
The most mismatched duo since any INTJ and ESFP combination, the ISTJ and ENFP represent the best and worst humanity has to offer with Neil and Del being the mascots. Neil is rigid, unforgiving and miserable while Del is a nice guy that can’t understand boundaries. We’ve all been in those moods and had to deal with the other.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is the original
Due Date and its a shame they’re aren’t more comedies like it. I’ve always considered it a holiday movie due to its story centered around Thanksgiving and its theatrical release having been on November 25th (It’s 27!).
The entire story revolves around Neil getting home. On business in New York, he’s hoping to get home in three days to his family for Thanksgiving until set back (inadvertently) by Del and then the weather. From this point on, a legendary team up begins to get Neil home.
How does this make either of them what they are? Well, any type could want to get home on the holidays, that doesn’t say much. But Neil’s tendencies to show no regard for others is an initial step toward typing. He doesn’t appear to be particularly cruel toward the world, just bitter at his surroundings. And as we all know, ISTJ and their dominant function of Si like what they know, and they don’t want to know anymore than they do.
Are they stupid? Negative. But outside of their comfort bubble, the ISTJ has no trouble rejecting anything and everything that isn’t what they recognize and as we see with Neil, especially in contrast to Del, Neil isn’t very adaptable.
But an ISTJ in the wild and give them enough time and they’ll make due, sure. They’ll get to know their surroundings and become king of the friggin’ jungle. But a three day journey back home has Neil ready to jump off the bridge of sanity.
Then you have Del.
“I could tolerate any insurance seminar. For days I could just sit there and listen to them go on and on with a big smile on my face. They’d say ‘How can you stand it?’ And I’d say ‘Cause I’ve been with Del Griffith. I can take ANYTHING.'”
Del is that guy you meet when traveling that knows all the back roads and byways. And he’ll tell you about all of them. As you’re trying to sleep. Writer/director John Hughes and John Candy perfectly crafted the nicest guy in the world that everyone is trying as hard as they can to not go off on. He doesn’t mean to be intrusive, he just is.
And at times, this can be the ENFP. Ne doesn’t make one such a nice person, but Ne and Fi? Their personality and repertoire could be compared to a pinball, bouncing everywhere with no end result in sight. ENFPs may be the ultimate extrovert because of this.
While SJs aren’t necessarily begrudging in their socializing, it can be more of of obligation and routine that they develop people skills, while ENFPs genuinely love interacting with others and are highly in tune with others motives, though a story they find interesting enough to tell you may overtake that feeling of reserve.
Del’s Ne seems to come in the form of not only being able to find a solution in the dimmest of situations (and ones that get the better of Neil throughout the film), but in his constant analogous sayings and anecdotes.
“St. Louis and Chi-town are booked tighter than Tom Thumb’s ass”
“We’d have more luck playing pick-up sticks with our butt cheeks than we will getting out of here before daybreak.”
“If they told you wolverines make good house-pets, would you believe them?”
And like a true NF and specifically an ENFP, Del is altruistic in his way of looking at the present as Keirsey puts it. NFs see the present as a time to do good for others rather than themselves which Del certainly does, though often times he ends up doing more harm than good. Even still, his salesman ship skills as an ENFP compete with the best of them, as the “shower curtain ring guy” is able to make him and Neil a few extra bucks by selling his shower curtain rings as fashionable ear rings.
And Del’s denial of his reality also fits the ENFP criteria at its worst; traveling the country in a vague attempt to fill his life with activities to avoid the fact that his wife is deceased and he’s lonely as hell.
And like any mis-matched pair, the two go through their problems with eventually finding the upsides. With the ISTJ’s calculated way of life compared to the ENFP’s free-spirit, it’s no wonder this comedy works so well- because the characters hate each other of course. Well, Neil hates Del and Del loves everybody.
Where one focuses on the cold reality of the situation and nothing more as he attempts to get back to his family (the good life), the other only focuses on the bright side of life while trying to escape the cold reality he would face otherwise. The two’s functions are are the same but in the reverse order, causing the two to look at different problems from different perspective.
It’s why their pairing is so painful for them but so funny for us.