Friday, August 07, 2009

Don’t You Forget About Me

I was shocked last night when the news that Hollywood Writer/Director John Hughes had died of a heart attack at the age of 59.

Celebrity deaths really don’t affect me too much, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly bummed out today to hear of this one.

For me, the movies of John Hughes DEFINED my teenage years. All the insecurities, fears, raging hormones, and general young angst that I was going through during that time, really was put under a spotlight and examined in all of his films.

I always felt better about being a teenager after seeing one of his movies. I felt like someone out there in Hollywood ‘got me’. Many of his movies really meant a lot to me. They still do.

Maybe you needed to be a teenager growing up in the 80’s to really appreciate his films. For me, they REALLY hit the mark, and help me define the decade. When I think of the 80’s and high school, HIS are the movies that I think of and relate to.

For those unfamiliar, check out just SOME of the flicks he wrote:

Breakfast Club
Sixteen Candles
Weird Science
Pretty In Pink
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Some Kind Of Wonderful
Planes Trains and Automobiles
Uncle Buck
Home Alone

Can you believe all that? He is the reason young stars like Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Esteves, Ally Sheedy, and Judd Nelson all became stars.

A few weeks ago I spoke about how Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of my all time favorite movies. The film came out in the spring of 86, just a month before I was about to graduate high school, and it seemed to sum up the meaningless of much of my high school experience so beautifully.

Vacation was the ‘cool’ movie that my friends were too young to see, but when we got a chance to see it anyway, we loved it and quoted it for weeks. Ditto for Weird Science. I think we watched that movie drunk EVERY DAMN weekend in college.

Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and my favorite of the three, Some Kind of Wonderful, all came out while I was in high school.

And who can forget the granddaddy of them all, The Breakfast Club. I remember renting that as a teenager and watching it in awe. I had never seen a “high school” movie that dealt with all the pressures and insecurities and labels that I was dealing with, every fucking day, in my high school experience. This movie STILL affects me whenever I watch it. When my son gets to be of that age, I plan to pop it in and watch it with him, to show him that he is NOT alone in what he is feeling.

So, I’m feeling kinda blue today, that someone who I never met, and never knew I existed, but who’s work left a huge impression on me, died way too early.

Tonight I plan to go home, relax in front of the TV, and pop in my copy of The Breakfast Club on DVD.

I’ll end this with my favorite quote from The Breakfast Club. In the immortal words of Judd Nelson’s “Andrew Clark”….

“Screws fall out all the time, the worlds' an imperfect place..”


Mrs. Hall said...

I feel ya Slyde!! I FEEL YA!!

Yeah, kids (like ME!) who grew up in the 80's, these movies are LITERALLY PART OF WHO WE ARE.

the conversation in the breakfast club, where the kids drop all pretenses and communicate their inner thoughts and feelings, i had TWO conversations like that with two separate groups when I was a teen.

There were intense and spontaneous group therapy conversations that formed these wicked close friendships instantly. The friendships, alas, did not last. Lightening in a bottle I guess.


either way, these films, are the last of their breed. I don't think a filmaker can make the kind of impact that John Hughes did. Ever again.

there are so many choices in media (tv, computer, xbox, ipod etc etc) that I just don't think a filmaker can make this kind of impact.

Hughes films took time and had little or no flash to engage the viewer. There are no explosions or sex scenes. Well, subtle boobie exposure maybe . . .

but, here's wishing Hughes has a son or daughter interested in making films . . .


sybil law said...

His death really affected me, too, for all the reasons you stated. Best movies....

Michelle said...

Nice remembrance post Slyde! Very beautiful words here!

Michelle said...

Nice remembrance post Slyde! Very beautiful words here!

Nej said...

Vacation, Ferris, Breakfast Club.....awesome flicks!!!!! My dad still to this day quotes Vacation anytime he can work it in.

59 is so young. :-(

GiGi said...

RIP. Great movies, and lots of memories for me, too - growing up watching them. Bueller is my favorite of them all, though!

Michelle said...




Evil Twin's Wife said...

He did have a gift for capturing that teen angst, but still retaining a healthy sense of humor about it all.

Cocaine Princess said...

Well written from the heart Slyde.

Pretty In Pink- love the OMD song "If You Leave."

He made some really awesome films.

Christmas Vacation is my fave.

Raechelle said...

yep! loved all those movies...oops guess I'm showing my age...:-)

Dr Zibbs said...

You were the Molly Ringwald character weren't you?

Heff said...

I saw "16 Candles" about 16 times !

59 years old is pretty young to pass on. Makes you think.

Verdant Earl said...

Andrew Clark never seemed like it was as badass of a name as Judd deserved in that film.

"He was fucking harsh in that one!"

Verdant Earl said...

Wait a minute...Emilio Estevez was Andrew. Judd Nelson played Bender. Right? They have it listed wrong on the IMDB page, but if you go to the quotes section you can see that Judd was Bender. Right?

Callie said...

It was so weird - hubby and I were telling Kidlet about Breakfast Club last weekend. We were trying to explain why the kids were there, and how they came together, even though they were part of different groups.

Loved most of his films. He was a great talent.

AlleyCat Runs said...

Well said. I'm still listening to the pretty in pink soundtrack. RIP.

Chris H said...

Sadness, far too young to go.

mo.stoneskin said...

If I'm honest with you I didn't recognise the name, but I grew up loving a lot of those films and it is sad to hear this.

Kate said...

Dear lord, I love this man's movies. I grew up watching them over and over, but I gotta say that of all of them, Uncle Buck is my favorite. I can't believe both Hughes and Candy are gone. Major bummer.

Tamara said...

Well, having been born in 1984, I didn't really watch any of these when they came out, but hubby and I are having an 80s theme party for our joint-bday celebrations at the end of the month. Will be screening some of these there.

Kimberly said...

Hi. My name is Kimberly and I am a victim of the 80's (and a totally awesome chick because of it)

"Nobody puts baby in the corner"~~ Johnny Castle, Dirty Dancing

Bruce Johnson said...

While I will give him is due as a good director that defined a generation. I am more saddened at the loss of Les Paul. While he is always known as the father of the electric guitar, few seem to ever listen to his early recordings. Much like the lost recordings of Elvis in his rock-a-billy prime, Les Paul was on kick ass guitarist that few seem to remember.