August 6, 2009

Rest in peace, John Hughes





John Hughes, the creator of so many iconic 80's movies has died of a heart attack. I wonder how many people my age saw his movies and identified with the characters, particularly if you didn't fit into one niche. He had an imperial run in the mid eighties, when he wrote or directed some of the very best teen stories. My favorite is Pretty In Pink, but I also love Breakfast Club and, to a lesser degree, Sixteen Candles. Ferris Bueller is funny, but I always thought Ferris was kind of an attention-seeking dick.

I was never "unpopular" per se, but I sort of flitted between the different groups at will (and against it). As an adult, I think that's served me well and it generally did as a teen. When I was a junior in high school I had to take Phys Ed after most of the kids had already fulfilled their requirements. This meant I was placed in class with jocks who took PE
for fun. So I never said anything. I just sort of smiled and laid low. One of the football players called me Smiley. "You never talk, all you do is stand there and smile, dude."

I'd be curious to know what you were like in school? Perhaps not surprisingly, I was the editor in chief of my senior yearbook, so the journalism offices were usually my home. I went to a school with 4200 students in 7th-12th grades, so you needed a "home." But after school hours, I really did not run with a crowd. I was much more solitary, or just met with one friend at a time.

People sometimes ask me what I think about the ending to Pretty In Pink, when Andie chooses Blane over Duckie. I feel the same way about that movie as I do about the Sex And The City finale - that Andie should have chosen neither guy. One was really not worthy and one was just a good friend. But that's too logical. Live and learn.

If you wonder what I looked like at the time I'm describing, here is a picture of me and my real-life Andie, Joanna, in 1986.

4 comments:

D'luv said...

Paramount apparently made John Hughes change the ending of Pretty In Pink...I'd read that in the original script, she chooses Duckie. And, allegedly, that's why he made Some Kind Of Wonderful—i.e., the EXACT same movie, but with the genders switched—a year later...so he could have the ending he wanted.

Anyway, I used to rent Pretty In Pink, Weird Science and Some Kind Of Wonderful on rotation every single weekend my 7th and 8th grade years ('86-'88), from the local grocery store. Good memories.

Sorry to hear John's dead, and I wonder why he became such a recluse in the past 15 years? I remember thinking in he early '90s that he seemed to transition nicely into the new decade with Home Alone, then...nothing. Well, he did write that crappy Baby's Day Out.

Dan said...

I always did love The Breakfast Club. Clearly, I was a Brian, but not quite that dweebish. That was the John Hughes movie that resonated the most for me. I also famously despise Ferris Bueller but that has little to do with Hughes.

Paul said...

Sixteen Candles is one of my all time favourite films. I'm not sure why I love it so much, I just do. It's certainly not his best film, i just connected with it...

I think I was like you in school - i wasn't popular but I wasn't unpopular. I was smart, I was musical, and because i ran track I was in with the sporty crowd. Plus I was sort of funny, so really humour can diffuse a lot of situations.

John said...

Your experience and mine seem to be pretty similar, although I will cop to wanting to be Ferris Bueller in high school simply because it was an escape from a less than happy home life. Time hasn't been kind to Ferris, but even that movie still has some pretty great things to say about individuality and non-conformity, and that served me well moving into adulthood.