August 7, 2009

RIP John Hughes

Yesterday, Thursday August 6th, John Hughes died of a heart attack at the age of 59. I grew up watching his movies on TV - those wonderful 1980s teen flicks like Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, and Some Kind of Wonderful. He single-handedly managed to skew my entire perspective on romantic relationships, reassuring my thirteen year old chubby four-eyed self that the awkward plain girl with the killer personality will always win over the guy in the end. He told us that being different was a good thing, that being weird isn't so weird, and that if you stay true to yourself, someday other people will see how great you really are. That we can all be friends. Not always the case in real life as I've learned, but I believed it as a child and most days, I still believe that now.

Here's a brief glimpse at my top three favorite John Hughes movies from the 80s.

Sixteen Candles - a young sophomore is in love with the hottest guy of the senior class. Except he doesn't even know she exists. Happy ending though, as always.


She says, "Who me?" How many of us have felt like that? Me - all the time.

The Breakfast Club - a group of socially diverse kids from very different backgrounds are forced together for a day of detention. They bond.



How many of you remember this scene where she pours out the sugar from her pixie sticks onto two slices of bread and makes it into a sandwich?




Some Kind of Wonderful - a boy falls in love with a popular girl at school and tries to do everything to impress her while neglecting his tomboyish best friend, who in return is in love with him. This was also the film that introduced me to Mary Stuart Masterson, who is just darling, and later starred in another one of my favorite films, Fried Green Tomatoes (1991).

She's the punk rocker tomboy who works with him at a car garage.


He's in love with the pretty popular chick (Lea Thompson).

Do any of you remember this particular part in the movie where he takes her on a tour of his favorite art gallery at night, after it had already closed? They walk down the empty corridors and he leads her to a painting...

...a painting that he had made of her!! I remember being 13 and thinking that was the most romantic thing ever. The perfect date. John Hughes is to blame for my subsequent attraction to artists and the generally turbulent relationships that resulted with them. :-P

Meanwhile his best friend is waiting outside, heartbroken!!!

I actually though Mary Stuart Masterson here in her "chauffeur/driver's uniform" was really hot. One of the rare instances where I would swing the other way just for a night.

Farewell, John Hughes. And thank you.


I have to admit that I saw many of the early John Hughes films because my older sister, who was actually a teenager then, was gaga for them. Of all the films, The Breakfast Club resonated with me the most and I saw it several times. Until your post, I never considered whether it was an influence on me and my high school experience, but maybe it was. I found it very hard in junior high to be different, but by high school I just was, and found my group of friends who spent their time in various diverse cliques, and never aspired to that inner circle of homogeneous, popular kids. I was happy and confident (as a teenager can be) right where I was.

Thanks for the look back.

The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles absolutely shaped me in high school. He was so spot on capturing the dynamics and feel of the time.

Mary Stuart Masterson is hot. In the movies, Chances Are and Some Kinda Wonderful..she is fantastic. As an actress, and a talent worthy of awards and applause, I am honored to see her films...I have watched Chances Are and SKW more times than I can say...Good films, great acting, and a storyline worth investing time. Yes, you can make great films that have decent morals.

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