What would our lives be like without John Hughes and his influence on film making? What a terrifying thought …
A Tribute to John Hughes, may he rest in peace …
John Hughes was a fantastic writer. A great film maker. He taught us all that being a teen was survivable, and at times, even fun. He discovered Molly Ringwald, (Well, he made her famous) after she did Annie and season one of The Facts of Life. He is responsible for The Brat Pack. He put Beatles songs in teen movies when no one else could afford to. He gave us Long Duck Dong. And, he put matched music to film about as good as Cameron Crowe, my other teen movie triple threat writer, director, and producer. He was even born in Michigan, like me. And I’ll always thank him for introducing me to Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat.
I feel bad for not writing this post earlier, as John died August 6th, during the week I went back to work. I have been thinking about writing a little blog tribute for him ever since. I adored his films. What dialog, what humor, what angst. I have spent hours of my life laughing and taking a good deep look into my own soul because of his movies.
I can’t imagine my life without Some Kind of Wonderful, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, Vacation, Pretty In Pink, or The Breakfast Club.
I was thinking which movie of his was my favorite films, and I came up with a tie, between The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, which was my first grown up movie if you will. Well, Porky’s was my first movie without supervision, but that was a different type of movie. It kills me not to do my top five and write about Ferris or Pretty in Pink, but I’m sure a hundred other bloggers have already written about those films already. Let me just say this – Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero!
Sixteen Candles. Only because it was the first big one of his I saw, and I felt like an adult that night walking out of the movie. I was 13 when it came out, and I went to The Abbey on opening night to see it with my old pals S. and T. What a fantastic film for a bunch of 13 years old girls to go see. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. What girl in the 80s didn’t fantasize about the hot older boys, fill out those little questionnaires that always dropped into the wrong hands during class, or got hurt feelings at the school dance when things didn’t go as planned. What a perfect film for its time. I am cracking up tonight reading on IMDB that Jim Carrey auditioned for The Geek. Anthony Michael Hall was so perfect as The Geek, I can’t imagine anyone else playing that part. I think I love this film the most because Sam was an outsider, flat chested, and had a screwed up family just like me. Well, I wasn’t an outsider in high school but I felt like one, as I was pretty, smart, and poor. I could identify with her I suppose. And I loved the geeks, oh my dear sweet John Cusack and his head-gear.
Some of the Best Lines of the Film:
Oh Sam, let me take a look at you. Fred, she’s gotten her boobies.
Ooh. Sexy Girlfriend.
That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call them something else.
No more yankie my wankie. The Donger need food.
Can I borrow your underpants for 10 minutes?
Dong. Where is my automobile? Oto-mo-biiile?
What the hell are you bitchin’ about? I gotta sleep under some Chinaman named after a duck’s dork.
She at the church. She getting married to oily bohunk.
The Breakfast Club. Really, this should beat out Sixteen Candles, because it is so much better, and much more deep, but … for whatever reason, it ties for first with Sixteen Candles for me. I saw this film with V. and her older brother at Universal Mall when we were in 8th grade. He had just taken us out to dinner and paid for all of us to go, and I was pretty impressed by that. We went the Monday night after the movie came out, and of course Don’t You Forget About Mebecame my 8th grade class song as we were “graduating” a few weeks later. What a flick. I don’t think I know a person my age who didn’t like it. The smoking dope scene in the school library, the mad dancing and the eight detentions in a verbal fight between Bender and Mr. Vernan. You know you were all dyingwhen Judd put his face between Claire’s legs. So dirty back then. I loved when they stripped down their exteriors and came clean as to why they were in detention - Bender – pulled a false fire alarm; Brian - Flare gun goes off in his locker; Andy - tapes a guy’s butt cheeks together in the locker room; Claire – ditches class to go shopping; and Allison - didn’t do anything, she didn’t have anything better to do on a Saturday. I just read that they all ad-libbed those reasons, how great. And I am amazed that the script for this was written in two days. Damn that John Hughes, he was so good. Guess who else was considered for the cast? Molly and Jodie Foster were considered for Allison, and Brooks Shields was considered for Claire. Emilio was supposed to play Bender, as were Nick Cage and John Cusack. Crazy, right? Those five actors were perfect, just perfect in this film. I walked out of there with that great “Oh, yes!” feeling I rarely get when a movie is perfect for me.
Some of the Best Lines of the Film:
So it’s sorta social, demented and sad, but social. Right?
Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.
I never did it either. I’m not a nymphomaniac. I’m a compulsive liar.
When you grow up, your heart dies.
Eat My Shorts.
Well not at present, but I can see you really pushing maximum density. See I’m not sure if you know this, but there are two kinds of fat people: there’s fat people that were born to be fat, and there’s fat people that were once thin but became fat… so when you look at ‘em you can sorta see that thin person inside. You see, you’re gonna get married, you’re gonna squeeze out a few puppies and then, uh…
Stupid, worthless, no good, goddamn, freeloading son of a bitch. Retarded, big mouth, know-it-all, asshole, jerk.
Just me. Just you and me. Two hits. Me hitting you. You hitting the floor. Anytime you’re ready, pal.
Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain. And an athlete. And a basket case. A princess. And a criminal. Does that answer your question?
Every time I hear this song, I’m 14 years old again, young and innocent and free. Not many songs can take me directly back to a certain year, but for the rest of my life, Don’t You Forget About Me will always take me back to 1985.