The Death of a Legend

I’m afraid to say it, but this post might actually be somewhat serious and bittersweet.  Director/Writer/Producer John Hughes passed away earlier this month on August 6 and it didn’t get much more than a blurb in the news.  Personally, I just heard about it yesterday… almost a month after it happened.  You might think I am kidding with that subject line, but I couldn’t be more serious.  I’m not sure I can think of a single person who had more of an impact on pop culture in the 1980s than John Hughes.  His movies were not only relevant and influential when they came out, but they all remain extremely rewatchable even 20-someyears later.  That’s impressive enough, but when you start listing the movies, it becomes downright shocking.  Hughes wrote and directed Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes Trains & Automobiles, and Uncle Buck.  He also wrote Pretty in Pink, National Lampoon’s Vacation & Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone.  That’s an absurd list of movies right there… each one of those is a classic.

I think what is most impressive to me is the Hughes found a style and stuck with it.  The movies that he wrote and directed were about kids and family situations.  He really never strayed from those lines throughout his whole career… even towards the end when he was writing straight-to-video Beethoven movies and Home Alone sequels.  Most of Hughes’ movies were about misunderstood characters who needed the world to “get” them, and every John Hughes movie had a happy ending.

For me, I loved John Hughes’ movies because they were exactly what I want to see when I pay to go to the cinema.  Personally, I don’t care if a movie is shot a certain way or if the movie is a social commentary on some issue that takes hours to understand.  I want witty banter and hilarious but deep characters who you learn more about as the movie progresses.  I want situations that make my heart feel lighter even if they are completely implausible.  I want to go to the movies for an experience, and I want to escape reality while I’m there to dream that something different from the norm is possible.  I got those feelings from every single one of Hughes’ movies, and I will always be grateful for that.  And the best part is that I think most everyone who grew up on Hughes’ movies would say the same thing.

So long John… congrats on defining a generation.

Here are some clips from the 8 movies he directed…