Friday, August 07, 2009

RIP John Hughes

John Hughes was a *huge* influence on me as a high schooler. I'm pretty sure he was the first filmmaker I recognized by name. It would be years until I realized how much of a fan I was of James Cameron, John McTiernan, Ridley Scott or even Martin Scorsese. But I knew who John Hughes was after I went and saw Breakfast Club (as part of a double-feature, at a drive-in, along with Beverly Hills Cop) with my older cousin Cindy in California, who was awesome for taking me and my sister to see those movies when we were young teens.

I had seen Sixteen Candles before that, of course, but it was never my favorite of Hughes's movies. It remains the one I've only seen a couple of times, whereas I know Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Planes, Trains and Automobiles by heart.

After Planes, Tranes and Automobiles, Hughes directed She's Having a Baby (pretty terrible, as I recall), Uncle Buck (watchable but forgettable) and Curly Sue (haven't seen, but I hear... not great things). Still, five of the most formative comedies of my youth in four years (1984-1987)? Not bad.

And that's only the stuff he wrote *and* directed. Among the stuff he wrote, we've got Mr. Mom, Vacation, Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful. It's true that as time went on, he started doing increasingly worse sequels to Vacation, then birthed the horrible Beethoven and Home Alone series, and his work in the past few years has included Flubber and Maid in Manhattan, so... in all honesty, the odds that he was ever going to make another movie I wanted to see were shockingly low.

But the guy's work was hugely influential on me as a teenager, and a half-dozen of his movies remain some of my absolute favorites.

I took dates to see Ferris Bueller, Some Kind of Wonderful and Pretty in Pink. I barely remember the girls... but I still remember the movies.

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