erik lundegaard

Friday August 07, 2009

John Hughes (1950-2009)

My friend Adam wrote a funny and heartfelt tribute to John Hughes. 18 months ago. He beat the rush. Another way of saying he meant it.

Of the movies he directed I liked “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Of the movies he wrote, add “Mr. Mom” and most of “Home Alone.”

Did he devolve? In his first films, teens were the smartest people in the room. In his latter films, kids were. Imagine if he’d kept going.

Maybe if I’d been a teen when “Breakfast Club” came out in 1985 it would’ve meant more to me. But I was 22 and it already felt reductive. I couldn’t stand Judd Nelson’s character, and I couldn’t stand that the filmmakers seemed to like Nelson’s character more than the others. I loved the Beatles, too, but Hughes' John Lennon references felt cloying. “When I was a kid, I wanted to be John Lennon.” “After all, he was the Walrus.” Please.

No doubt “Pretty in Pink” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” would make a great double bill, if only to test their double standards. Same set-up, different genders. In the first, a girl has two possible boyfriends: the nice, popular rich kid and the goofy friend; she winds up with the nice, popular rich kid. In the second, a boy has two possible girlfriends: the nice, popular rich kid and the goofy friend. He winds up with the goofy friend. Girls are so shallow.

“Ferris Bueller” would make a great double bill, too, but with a non-Hughes film also starring Matthew Broderick: “Election.” Bring your kids. Scare them. See, this is this guy when he’s a teen, and here he is again 13 years later. Boo! Both films are actually fairly accurate as to how each age perceives itself. In high school, you know it all, or feel like you don't have anything else to learn. Stuck in adulthood, you’ve never felt so dumb, and wonder why you didn't learn more when you were younger.

59 is too young.

Posted at 08:31 AM on Friday August 07, 2009 in category Movies  
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