I remember the first time I watched Airplane! as a kid, some time during the 1990s. My family had been on a Leslie Neilsen kick, having just seen the Naked Gun series. So I spent most of the film wondering why they were focusing on this boring younger couple instead of Nielsen. It's very much a film of its time--there's a lot of 80s-style references that are probably going over my head. And it's probably a sign of my post-everything digital upbringing, but the pacing seems off to me, as it does in a lot of early comedies. There are too many bits that just seem to slow everything else down. And I couldn't decide whether the pedophile was funny dark or just dark. Honestly, though, I think I'm just bitter that I was so post-everything digital that I was typing away on my laptop the whole time and I missed the "Don't Call Me Shirley" line.
What I really did like about the film was the reactions. One of my favorite parts of the film was when the elderly woman sitting next to the male lead realises that he's going to keep telling his story, and takes off her glasses in a disgusted manner. If there was an Oscar for such performances, she should get it. And little facial things from the bit actors keep up throughout the film. It's nice.
Ultimately, though, the film can be summed up by the best put-down of all time:
Excuse the subtitles. And yes, that's the sort of reaction I mean.