Friday, August 7, 2009

Goodbye, Mr. Hughes

I read that John Hughes died today while taking a walk in Manhattan. I hadn't thought much about him in years, but there was a time in my life when his name was synonymous with movies targeted at my age group. The thing about these movies is that they didn't condescend, they didn't portray all teens as wannabe cheerleaders and didn't miss the absurdities of what made being a teen to freakin' painful.
It's hard for me to pick a favorite. If pressed I'd probably say The Breakfast Club. Almost made detention seem like a good thing. Made you wish every tough guy had a secret John Bender inside and every asshole jock had an inner Andrew. And I still laugh whenever anyone mentions Niagara Falls. 16 Candles left us hoping for a hottie like Jake with a cool car and a birthday cake. Pretty in Pink? I never got the attraction to that douchbag she ended up with, or the hideous dress. But what it lacked in the "it" factor for me, it made up for with the soundtrack. Still one of the best soundtracks ever.
I'll watch Ferris Bueller anytime I come across it on TV, and it always makes me laugh. I mean, who didn't wish they'd had the guts or opportunity to impersonate "the sausage king of Chicago?" No one, that's who! He may hate it, but no matter what else he does, Matthew Broderick will always be frozen in my mind as Ferris, with just a touch of Eugene from Biloxi Blues mixed in. You know, the "It's hot, it's like Africa hot," part. But I digress. That's not a John Hughes film.
What about the ultimate in legitimizing teenage boy geeks? Weird Science! I have to say, the bad boys, well, Robert Downey Jr, was more appealing to me, but Wyatt and Gary were the perfect mix of sweet and pathetic. And Kelly LeBrock, who went on to "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" fame, was perfect, almost believable as a computer engineered smokin' hot babe.
I guess I don't really know where I'm going with this. I think of those as the first movies I really loved. I have seen them each a zillion times. No, I'm not exaggerating, a cool zillion, each. So when I heard he had passed away, even though I've not followed his career since, I was moved. Is it creepy or appropriate that he died the week of my 20 year high school reunion? I don't know. All I know is that he's left some real classics behind. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to dig up my AquaNet, put on my pegged jeans, too much black eyeliner and watch some movies.
Thank you, Mr. Hughes.

I just came across this blog post about Mr. Hughes that shows how he managed to write teens so well. It sounds like he was a good person as well as a good writer.


Mrs. F said...

Oh man, there was a time in my life when I could recite most every line in 'Breakfast Club'. Best movie of his in my opinion.

Karen MEG said...

I was also shocked to hear of his passing, and although the Breakfast Club and the other Molly Ringwald movies came to mind first, I totally forgot about his involvement in the Home Alone series too! What a tremendous loss.

Bloghopping by to say hi...

runescape gold said...

This sucks. I was always hoping he'd made a Terrance Malick/Stanley Kubrick type comeback, giving us another great teen comedy. Nobody else could write teen comedies like he could -- he made the characters real, not cliched, runescape money and the stories were timeless.

Beth said...

I still quote many, many of the lines from Hughes films. His movies were a big part of my adolescence.

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